Tooth-Colored Fillings (Composite Fillings) in Saratoga Springs, NY

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About Tooth-Colored Fillings

Are you tired of looking in the mirror and seeing those big black fillings? Are you tired of your children asking, “Why are your teeth gray?”. If your old silver fillings are unbecoming to you, then you should be coming to us. All of our practices are completely amalgam (silver-filling) free. We use only the newest technologies in tooth bonding to deliver white composite restorations that will blend seamlessly into your natural tooth. Composite fillings, also known as white or invisible fillings, are the restorative material of choice in all of our dental offices. A composite restoration is used to repair a tooth that has been affected by decay, fractures, or to improve the cosmetics of discolored or stained teeth. Don’t settle anymore for a smile you’re not proud of; talk to any of our staff about the changes you would like to achieve. It may be far more simple than you ever dreamed. When you arrive at any of our offices for a filling, you will be greeted by a friendly staff that will discuss the procedure completely prior to initiating any treatment and answer all questions. Next, your dentist will use an advanced spectrophotometer to check your tooth shade.

Reasons for composite fillings are:

  1. Cavities
  2. Cosmetic Bonding
  3. Repair of Fractures and Chips
  4. Acid Erosion and Wear from Grinding
  5. Repair of Root Cavities and Lesions at the Gumline

Composite fillings offer several advantages to our patients. First, the ability of white restorations to bond to the tooth allows our dentists to remove only the decayed portions of the tooth. Silver restorations, which were held into the tooth by mechanical retention, often necessitated larger preparations and more aggressive procedures. Secondly, white fillings are less likely to cause a fracture of the surrounding tooth. Large amalgam restorations are notorious for fracturing the clinical crown of the tooth, often resulting in the need for additional, more involved dental procedures such as root canal therapy, full coverage restorations (caps), and even extraction if the tooth is not restorable. Composite fillings are tooth-colored and can be closely matched to the color of the existing tooth allowing for more aesthetic restorations and repairs especially within your smile. As with all dental restorations, composite fillings are not permanent and may someday need to be replaced. They are very durable, however, and with diligent homecare and frequent cleanings, should give you beautiful, long-lasting teeth.

What are the Benefits of Tooth-Colored Fillings?

Compared with traditional silver fillings - and even on their own - composite, tooth-colored fillings can offer a more desirable solution for treating decayed and damaged teeth. Benefits of choosing composite fillings at the time of your dental treatment and/or replacing old fillings with a new, tooth-colored filling include:

  • Can be matched to the shade of your natural tooth
  • Dramatically less visible than silver/gray filling material for a more natural, discreet look
  • Lower risk of damaging or fracturing the natural tooth
  • Treatment is quick and convenient
  • Minimal amount of natural tooth material needs to be removed
  • No metal material involved

How Are Composite Fillings Placed In Our Offices?

Composite fillings are placed in one visit, usually completing multiple restorations in a single visit if needed. Utilizing today’s latest methods to minimize discomfort, the tooth will be numbed. The dentist will remove all the decay and the tooth will be verified for remaining cavities with a special cavity indicating dye to assure no decay is left untreated. The tooth will then be thoroughly cleansed using a prescription antimicrobial mouth rinse. If the decay was near the nerve of the tooth, your dentist may choose to apply one of several different medications to help improve the prognosis and comfort. The composite filling will then be precisely placed, shaped, and polished, restoring your tooth to its original shape and function. It is normal to experience a degree of sensitivity to hot and cold when composite fillings are first placed; however, this will subside after your tooth acclimates to the new filling. At the end of your appointment, the dental staff will be sure to answer any and all questions you may have about the procedure. In addition, special attention will be given to reviewing your homecare and any special instructions that may be warranted. In all of our offices, your comfort is our #1 priority and we will strive to make all appointments enjoyable and relaxing.

What is a spectrophotometer?

It is the latest advancement in cosmetic dentistry. The Vita Easyshade (a spectrophotometer) measures the shade of your teeth. It is capable of detecting over 45 different shades and will even give three different shades per tooth, a gumline shade, a body shade, and a top shade (an incisal shade). The result is a near-miss color match every time, making it hard for even your dentist to find your fillings. After we’ve selected your shade, we will remove the decay and existing silver fillings quickly and painlessly. Your new white fillings will be placed and cured (hardened) with the latest plasma arc curing light, ensuring a faster procedure for you and less post-operative temperature sensitivity than the conventional methods. Your new white fillings will be polished to a high shine and your new smile is ready to be unveiled. If you can’t be cavity-free, let us make it look like you are!

Composite Fillings vs. Silver Fillings

It is important for all of our dental patients to be aware that, in general, all of our practices place only composite (WHITE) fillings. For years, amalgam or silver fillings have been the most commonly placed restorations and although health concerns regarding the mercury content of such restorations are not supported by sound scientific evidence, other complications with these fillings have diminished their use. Silver fillings do not bond to tooth structure, and therefore require much larger, more invasive, and damaging tooth preparations. Large silver fillings are prone to fracturing the surrounding tooth structure often resulting in the need for more invasive and costly dental treatment and in many cases resulting in loss of the tooth. Additionally, silver fillings tend to be unsightly and objectionable to most patients. Lastly, the environmental concerns over disposing of amalgam waste pose a serious concern. Please feel free to discuss this with any of our dentists if you have any questions or concerns.

Tooth-Colored Fillings FAQ

Do tooth-colored fillings look natural?

Absolutely. In addition to preserving the health of your tooth, tooth-colored fillings don't affect the natural color of your tooth — so your smile will look naturally beautiful.

How long do tooth-colored fillings last?

How long a tooth-colored filling will last depends on a number of factors, including your oral health, which tooth is treated, the size of the cavity, and more. However, most patients can expect a tooth-colored filling to last up to 10 years or longer in some cases before they may need to be replaced.

Is a tooth-colored filling safer than a regular filling?

While traditional fillings are still considered very safe and effective, they are made with an amalgam that includes the heavy metal mercury. Mercury has been associated with certain health risks. Tooth-colored fillings, on the other hand, are made from a composite resin and do not contain mercury and are considered safer than traditional fillings for this reason.

How long does it take to get a tooth-colored filling?

On average, it takes about 30 – 45 minutes to place a tooth-colored filling. This time can be affected by the size of the cavity, location, and the tooth being treated.

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.