Repair Your Smile With Tooth-Colored Fillings
Chances are that you have had cavities. According to the Center For Disease Control, 90 percent of adults age 20 and older have had at least one cavity. If the damage is caught soon enough, you can avoid the need for a root canal later on and have your tooth repaired with a filling.
Silver fillings have been the traditional norm for many years, and we can provide them if you want them. However, at Gentle Family Dentistry, Dr. Garger and our team highly recommend you opt for tooth-colored fillings.
What Are Silver Fillings?
Silver fillings, also called amalgam fillings, are a type of filling that has been used to repair dental damage like cavities, for hundreds of years. They’re strong and long-lasting, but they come with notable drawbacks:
- Unnatural Appearance– Silver fillings easily stand out from your natural teeth.
- Staining– The silver in amalgam fillings can leak into the tooth, darkening it over time.
- Galvanic Shock – If silver fillings interact with other metal fillings and dental prosthetics of differing compositions, this can generate an electric charge that can shock your mouth.
- Toxicity– Silver fillings may contain mercury, lead, and other materials that can cause toxic or allergic reactions.
- Takes Hours to Set– Silver fillings often take a full 24 hours to completely harden and reach full strength after they’re applied to your tooth.
- Enamel Destruction– Silver fillings require a significant amount of your tooth’s enamel be removed to make room for them, which compromises the tooth’s structural integrity.
- Increased Sensitivity– Silver fillings expand and contract upon contact with hot and cold temperatures, increasing dental sensitivity and putting pressure on the inside of your tooth, thus weakening it further.
What Are Tooth-Colored Fillings?
Tooth-colored fillings, also called composite, mercury-free, and white fillings, are fillings made from non-metallic materials. Tooth-colored fillings are usually made from a mix of high-quality resin, porcelain, and ground quartz. Tooth-colored fillings offer significant advantages over silver fillings that often make them the more preferred option, including:
- Insulation against electricity
- Set almost instantly once they’re applied to your tooth
- Blend seamlessly with your natural teeth
- Require less natural enamel be removed
- Won’t darken or stain your teeth over time
The Tooth-Colored Filling Process
Before receiving your tooth-colored fillings, you’ll undergo an initial consultation with Dr. Garger. During this time, Dr. Garger will thoroughly examine your mouth, review your medical history, and discuss your oral health goals with you. The information he gathers will allow him to determine if tooth-colored fillings are right for you. Once you’ve both decided that tooth-colored fillings are the right treatment option for you, we’ll schedule you for your next appointment.
Before installing your fillings, we’ll thoroughly clean your mouth out, then apply a local anesthetic to the soft tissues around the affected tooth. Dr. Garger will remove any decayed or damaged material from the tooth to make sure it’s clean and make room for the filling.
To install your tooth-colored filling, Dr. Garger will apply the resin in layers, hardening each layer as he goes with a special handheld tool, usually a blue light. Depending on your case, Dr. Garger may recommend further reinforcing the tooth with a dental crown. If you decide against the crown, once your filling has been applied, you can start enjoying your new smile.
Frequently Asked Questions
Tooth-colored fillings can last 10 to 12 years before they need to be replaced. The longevity of your tooth-colored fillings will depend on you maintaining regular oral hygiene and keeping up with your bi-annual dental exams at Gentle Family Dentistry. Dr. Garger and our team can give you more specific instructions on how to care for your tooth-colored fillings when you visit our Bakersfield office.
The exact cost of your tooth-colored fillings depends on several factors such as how many fillings you need, the extent of your dental damage, and your insurance. We encourage you to call your provider beforehand and ask them which costs they can cover. Because we believe price shouldn’t be an obstacle to effective treatment, Gentle Family Dentistry also offers new patient specials and financing options, including third-party financing through CareCredit.
Rest assured that Dr. Garger and the team at Gentle Family Dentistry will always prioritize your safety and comfort. We’ll apply a local anesthetic and make sure it’s working before beginning the procedure. We’ll also answer any questions you may have so you can feel more comfortable.
In the days following your filling installation, it’s normal to experience some discomfort, but this should be easy to manage with over-the-counter pain medication and cold compresses. If your pain feels unbearable or is lasting longer than it should, contact Gentle Family Dentistry by dialing 661-664-9900 and we’ll get back to you shortly.
Tooth-colored fillings can become stained depending on your diet and your oral hygiene. For this reason, it’s important to practice proper oral hygiene, attend regular dental exams, and avoid foods and drinks that can stain your fillings such as:
- Red wine
- Dark berries
- Dark soda
Enjoy a Healthy, Beautiful Smile Again With Tooth-Colored Fillings
At Gentle Family Dentistry, our Bakersfield patients, as well as patients from surrounding areas, can enjoy healthy smiles with these beautiful restorations. If you’re interested in learning about the benefits of tooth-colored fillings, feel free to call our Bakersfield office by dialing 661-664-9900. You can also book an appointment online and a friendly team member will get back to you shortly. We look forward to being part of your smile transformation!