Routine Dental Care: What Are Tooth Colored Fillings

Routine Dental Care: What Are Tooth Colored Fillings from Mission Valley Dental Arts in San Diego, CAUsing dental fillings to treat cavities is one of the most common types of routine dental care. The American Dental Association reports that approximately 91% of adults will experience at least one cavity in their permanent teeth at some point in time. Fortunately, the high demand for this type of dental work has led to developments that offer patients more options when treating tooth decay.

Routine dental care for cavities

Before a cavity can be filled, the decay must be removed from the tooth. While traditional drills are still used in many locations, some offices now offer laser dentistry for this step. This can help speed up the process while offering precise results with less noise. Once the tooth is free of decay, a filling is used to restore the shape and function of the tooth.

Types of dental fillings

When it comes to choosing the right type of dental filling for a cavity, patients now have several options. Currently, most people opt for tooth-colored fillings for a more discreet result. However, in certain situations, a metal filling may be the more appropriate choice. A dentist can help patients make the most appropriate selection based on age, dental history and the location of the affected tooth.

Tooth-colored materials

When a cavity is filled using a tooth-colored material, the results are more natural looking and less noticeable. Most patients prefer this option when receiving routine dental care for decay towards the front of the mouth. However, some patients can also enjoy the discretion of these materials on back teeth when decay is not too severe. Tooth-colored fillings can be made of

  • Porcelain/ceramic
  • Resin composite (a combination of porcelain and plastic)
  • Glass ionomer (a combination of acrylic and glass, infused with fluoride)

While porcelain and resin composite are used on exposed tooth areas, glass ionomer fillings are typically used to treat decay below the gum line.

Composite fillings, a popular choice among dentists and patients, can be easily adjusted to match the natural shade of a person's teeth. This type of repair usually lasts for approximately five years in adults with proper oral care. Porcelain fillings, which can also be tinted for a realistic finish, tend to last between 10 and 15 years in a healthy adult.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Routine Dental Care in San Diego, CA.

Amalgams and metals

Traditional fillings were made from amalgam, a combination of silver, tin, copper, mercury and zinc. Patients can also request gold fillings. Both materials are still considered safe by the FDA and are incredibly durable, lasting around 15 years in most patients.

Due to its longevity, amalgam is still used for severe decay in some children. However, the silver appearance can be unsightly. In situations that require the strength of metal, a composite filling can be reinforced with stainless steel, offering patients the best of both worlds when needed.

Conclusion

Cavity treatment is a form of routine dental care that most adults will deal with at some point in life. Fortunately, there are tooth-colored filling options that can help make the work appear more natural. A dentist can offer guidance when making the appropriate choice for a patient's needs.

Request an appointment or call Mission Valley Dental Arts at 619-805-4248 for an appointment in our San Diego office.

Recent Posts

Can, Can’t, Won’t: What Children Can Eat While Wearing Braces

Brushing and flossing on a regular basis are great for one’s oral health, but there are still ways in which people can unintentionally harm the health of their teeth. Many people know that sugar is bad for the enamel of one’s teeth but may not realize there are other foods that can cause as much…

Keep Your Smile Healthy And Bright With Routine Dental Care

While everybody's working for the weekend, don't forget routine dental care to make the days extra brightRoutine dental care is important for a healthy set of teeth. While we can provide routine dental care during appointments, you need to keep it up at home through brushing twice a day and flossing once a day.Routine Dental…

Why It's Important To Leave Denture Repair To A Dental Professional

In need of a denture repair? Those who wear dentures often find a need to have them repaired at one point or another. These tooth replacement appliances are extremely susceptible to damages. Their delicate materials make them extremely durable, but also prone to things like cracking or chipping. A common question that comes along with denture…

Recent Posts

Why It&#    ;s Important To Leave Denture Repair To A Dental Professional

Why It's Important To Leave Denture Repair To A Dental Professional

In need of a denture repair? Those who wear dentures often find a need to have them repaired at one point or another. These tooth replacement appliances are extremely susceptible to damages. Their delicate materials make them extremely durable, but also prone to things like cracking or chipping. A common question that comes along with denture…

Why It&#    ;s Important To Leave Denture Repair To A Dental Professional

Why It's Important To Leave Denture Repair To A Dental Professional

In need of a denture repair? Those who wear dentures often find a need to have them repaired at one point or another. These tooth replacement appliances are extremely susceptible to damages. Their delicate materials make them extremely durable, but also prone to things like cracking or chipping. A common question that comes along with denture…