Natural-Looking, Tooth-Colored Composite Fillings
If you experience hot or cold sensitivity or have pain when eating, especially sugary foods, you may have dental decay—more commonly known as a cavity.
You are not alone. According to the ADA (American Dental Association), more than 90 percent of American adults have had at least one cavity.
While the sensitivity or pain may seem insignificant, it is an important indicator that something is wrong. Ignoring symptoms won’t make them go away. In fact, it will only lead to more serious consequences.
Dr. Karl Jobst and his team at Grand Lake Dental treat patients with dental decay every day. Their gentle hands, compassionate care, friendly personalities, and expert knowledge keep patients coming back year after year. Whether you need a filling, a dental implant, or are looking for a smile makeover, you can rest assured they will treat you right.
If you have a cavity, Grand Lake Dental offers natural-looking composite fillings. The composite material is color-matched to your tooth, so they are practically invisible.
Why Cavities Need Fillings
Often, a cavity alerts you to its presence with symptoms such as tooth sensitivity and pain. However, cavities can also lurk in the dark, presenting no symptoms whatsoever. Sometimes, the first indication of decay is found during a routine dental checkup and cleaning.
It may sound like a terrible thing to hear you have a cavity that needs filling, but it is the easiest restorative dentistry option available. And it is much better to hear that than it is to hear you need a root canal or extraction.
When dental decay is ignored, it can easily spread and progress into something a filling cannot fix.
A filling keeps the damage from getting worse and restores a damaged tooth to full function.
What are composite fillings?
Traditionally, the most common material for fillings was amalgam. If you or someone you know has a silver filling, that is amalgam. Composite fillings, however, are made from quartz and glass, and they can be color-matched to mimic the tooth. This gives the filling a natural, barely visible look.
Aside from being more aesthetically pleasing, composite fillings offer several advantages over amalgam. For instance, amalgam can contract and expand with cold and hot. Over time, this can cause fissures in the teeth.
Also, amalgam is made of a combination of minerals and metals, including mercury, which is considered toxic. While the amount of mercury is minimal, it is a consideration. Therefore, many people believe composite fillings are healthier.
Some additional benefits include:
- Smoother texture
- Require less enamel removal
- Bond more securely, offering more durable results
Moreover, because of the natural look and color matching ability, composite fillings can strengthen teeth weakened from wear and tear.
Additionally, the material has many uses in cosmetic dentistry with composite bonding. The material can cover chips in teeth, fill in gaps, and improve the shape or size of teeth.
The Process for Fillings
In most cases, we can complete fillings in one simple appointment.
To discover the extent of decay, you will first need x-rays. At Grand Lake Dental, we utilize advanced technology with digital x-rays. This offers immediate images and allows for a more accurate diagnosis.
Before beginning, Dr. Jobst will numb the affected area. You should not experience any pain with a filling, but if you have issues with anxiety or fear, talk with one of our team members about dental sedation options.
Once you are numb, Dr. Jobst will gently remove the decay and any infected material. Next, he will disinfect the tooth thoroughly. If necessary, he will carefully reshape the tooth.
After the tooth is completely cleaned and dried, Dr. Jobst will mix the composite material and then match the color to your tooth. He will then precisely place the material to fill the cavity. As he does this, he may use a curing light to harden it.
Finally, Dr. Jobst will trim excess material as he checks for proper occlusion. When it matches the original shape and function, he will polish your new restoration.
Before you leave the office, a team member will give you care instructions. It can be normal to experience increased hot and cold sensitivity at first, but this subsides quickly as your tooth acclimates to the filling.
While not considered a permanent restoration, proper care can help composite fillings last for many years. Care includes the same care as your natural teeth: good oral hygiene and eating habits, as well as regular dental visits.
Are you in need of a filling?
If you need a filling, or if you think you might, one of our helpful team members would be happy to answer any questions you have.
Call us at (918) 787-5800 today to speak with a team member or schedule an appointment.