What is a Tooth-Colored Filling?
Dental cavities are common and occur when bacteria eat through the enamel on your teeth. In the past, dentists treated cavities with a metal amalgam, which is a combination of metals like silver or mercury. We know now that amalgam fillings don't bond well with tooth enamel and that mercury can be hazardous to your health, so tooth-colored or white fillings made of composite resin were developed as an alternative. At Leary Family Dentistry in Charlotte, NC, founding dentist Dr. Carmen Leary uses these white fillings to fill cavities and protect your teeth. Dr. Leary can also remove your old metal fillings and replace them with tooth-colored fillings for a safer, more attractive smile.
Should I Get A White Filling?
Composite resin tooth-colored fillings help to eliminate cavities by sealing the area of decay in the tooth after it has been cleaned out. Composite resin is a versatile material that can be used to address several issues with your teeth, including chips or excessive wear on the enamel caused by teeth grinding (bruxism). Since the composite resin is tinted to match your natural teeth, white fillings can be used on both back and front teeth for a seamless finish. If you have metal fillings, talk to Dr. Leary about having them removed and refilled with composite resin for better protection.
What To Expect With Tooth-Colored Fillings
Getting a filling with composite resin at Leary Family Dentistry is typically an easy process. Dr. Leary will numb the treatment area with a local anesthetic to help you feel more comfortable and, if needed, can discuss other sedation methods to keep you relaxed during the procedure. Once you're ready, Dr. Leary can remove the decayed area with a special drill that she'll select based on where the cavity is located and the amount of decay present. After clearing the decay away and cleaning the tooth, she'll fill the cavity with composite resin and harden it with a specialized light. Then, Dr. Leary will polish the filling material so it matches the look of your natural teeth.
Recovery After A White Filling
You will be able to resume your normal routine after your filling is complete, but it will take a few hours for the numbing medicine to wear off. Your teeth might also be sensitive to hot and cold for 1 – 3 days afterward. You can use over-the-counter pain medication to minimize any discomfort. If your filling feels high or uneven, please call us and we'll schedule an appointment to fix this issue. At your annual exam, Dr. Leary will examine your filling to decide if it needs to be replaced or repaired.
Is a Tooth-Colored Filling Covered By Insurance?
Tooth-colored fillings are a common treatment for cavities and are usually covered at least partially by dental insurance. An administrative team member will talk to your dental insurance company to determine your coverage before calculating any out-of-pocket costs. If you do not have dental insurance, Dr. Leary can discuss the various payment methods we accept during your consultation, as well as information about medical financing.
Plan Your Procedure
Replace Mercury Fillings
It's crucial to treat cavities and stop tooth decay before they develop into a larger issue. At Leary Family Dentistry in Charlotte, NC, cavities can be addressed with tooth-colored fillings. Dr. Leary strives to match the color of your natural teeth so that you get a healthy, beautiful smile. If you think you or your child has a cavity, contact us today to schedule a dental exam with Dr. Leary.