What Are Tooth-Colored Fillings?
Dental cavities are a common problem that develops when bacteria erodes your dental enamel. In the past, dental cavities were filled with a material called amalgam, a mixture of different metals such as mercury or silver. We now know that amalgam fillings do not adhere well with the enamel, and the mercury can be dangerous to your health. At Chang & Rothkopf Dental in Washington, D.C., our experienced dentists offer tooth-colored fillings made from a composite resin to fill cavities and protect the tooth. We can also take out old metal fillings and apply tooth-colored fillings for safer and better-looking treatment of cavities.
"People say they hate going to the dentist but Dr. Rothkopf and team make you feel safe, relaxed, and ready to smile big!!"- M.B. / Google / Nov 16, 2022
"Dr. Kye is a terrific dentist--extraordinarily conscientious, thorough, and communicative. The hygienists, assistants and staff are all outstanding. I have been a patient of Dr. Rothkopf's for many years, and the addition of doctors Kye and Chang ensure that this practice will continue to live up to its excellent reputation."- P.C. / Google / Nov 11, 2022
"Best dental practice."- F.G. / Google / Nov 09, 2022
"I’ve always had a great experience here. Dr. Rothkopf has been my family’s go-to dentist for decades. He’s always made me feel comfortable, and I trust his judgment. I recently saw Dr. Kye for some dental work, and she is thorough, kind, and very gentle. I almost drifted off to sleep while she was working! Great staff all around. Highly recommend."- A.R. / Google / Nov 09, 2022
"Very fortunate to have landed in his care!"- R.L. / Google / Nov 04, 2022
What Are the Benefits of Tooth-Colored Fillings?
If you need a filling to treat a cavity, CK Dental & Associates can help make sure you have a safe and high-quality filling with a tooth-colored filling. The benefits of tooth-colored fillings made of composite resin include:
- Fillings are not recognizable to others when you speak or eat
- Better for the mouth and your health than mercury/amalgam fillings
- Halts further tooth decay and sensitivity
- Installation is quick and should cause minimal discomfort
- Durability fillings that last up to 7-10 years
- Produces a natural look and a better smile than amalgam fillings
Am I a Candidate for Tooth-Colored Fillings?
Composite resin tooth-colored fillings usually cover the area of decay in the enamel once it is cleaned by our staff. Composite resin is a versatile material that can be used to treat other concerns with your teeth, including cracks or wear on the enamel by teeth grinding (bruxism). Since the composite resin is tinted to match your natural teeth, tooth-colored fillings may be placed on both the front and back teeth for a great result. If you have metal fillings, talk to us about getting them removed and replaced with composite resin.
How Are Tooth-Colored Fillings Performed?
Getting a filling at CK Dental & Associates is usually an easy and pain-free procedure. The area surrounding the cavity will be numbed with a local anesthetic to help you feel more comfortable. Other sedation methods may be considered for any fears or dental anxieties to keep you relaxed during the procedure. Once you're ready, the affected enamel can be treated with a dental drill that our trained team members will select based on the location of the cavity and the level of decay involved. Once the enamel is removed and the tooth is disinfected, the space will be replaced with the composite material and set. The resin is then smoothed away so it feels comfortable and matches your natural teeth.
What to Expect After Tooth-Colored Fillings?
You should be able to get back to your normal day after your filling is complete, but you may have some sensitivity to hot and cold food and beverages for a few days. You can use over-the-counter pain medication to address discomfort or inflammation; however, you should not have any major issues. If your filling seems high or uneven, please call us. Your filling can be cleaned by following a normal home oral care routine including daily brushing and flossing. At your annual exam, a member of our team will check your filling to determine if it should be replaced or repaired.
Tooth-Colored Fillings FAQ
Can I replace my old metal fillings with tooth-colored fillings?
Yes, you can. If you have old metal fillings, we can remove them and replace them with new tooth-colored fillings. This will help restore the natural color of your tooth and give you a stronger new restoration.
Are tooth-colored fillings safer than traditional fillings?
While traditional fillings are still considered very safe and effective to repair dental cavities, some doctors consider tooth-colored fillings a safer option. This is because tooth-colored fillings are made with a composite resin rather than an amalgam of silver and mercury, which is a heavy metal that has been linked to certain health risks.
Will my tooth really look natural after getting a tooth-colored filling?
Yes, it will. One of the main advantages of a tooth-colored filling is that it does not alter the color of the treated tooth. This means nobody will know you have a filling but you and your doctor.
How long does it take to get a tooth-colored filling?
It depends on the size of the cavity and dental repair. On average, it takes about 45 minutes to get a tooth-colored filling. For more extensive repairs, it can take longer.
How long will a tooth-colored filling last?
It will depend on your overall oral health; however, most people can expect their tooth-colored filling to last up to 10 years before it may need to be replaced. Practicing good oral hygiene with regular brushing and flossing in addition to regular checkups at Chang & Rothkopf Dental can help extend the life of your tooth-colored fillings.
Stop Cavities in their Tracks
Dental cavities may start as a small problem, but it is crucial to have them addressed before they develop into a big problem. At Chang & Rothkopf Dental in Washington, D.C., tooth decay and cavities may be addressed with tooth-colored fillings. Our talented team of dentists matches the shade of your teeth so you can have a healthy, attractive smile. If you think you or a family member has tooth decay, contact our office to schedule an exam.