Here at Heck Family Dentistry of Lawrence, dental fillings are one of the most common services we offer. With this treatment, we can stop cavities in their tracks to relieve pain, prevent the damage from worsening, and ultimately save your natural smile. Plus, we specifically use tooth-colored fillings in Lawrence so that your results are basically imperceptible from your original grin. To learn more about tooth-colored fillings, continue reading below, or give us a call today!
Care of Mouth After Composite Restorations
Healthy teeth have a hard coating called enamel. Acid from bacteria in the mouth demineralizes, or “eats,” a tooth’s enamel. Demineralization is not necessarily harmful. Continued demineralization in the enamel may not progress if proper oral care is maintained. However, once the acid eats through the enamel into the second layer of the tooth (called the dentin), a cavity is formed. Because the dentin is softer than the enamel, cavity growth cannot be prevented. Without treatment, the hole in your tooth will continue to grow until no visible tooth remains.
Cavity treatment includes cleaning out the soft demineralized tooth and filling the void with material that matches the shade of the tooth. If left undetected and untreated, the cavity will continue to eat away at the soft tissue. Eventually, it can reach the last layer of the tooth – the nerve – and become infected, cause pain, and require a root canal or even an extraction. Luckily, treating decay with tooth-colored fillings can typically prevent such problems.
For over 150 years, dentists filled cavities with a mixture of metals, including silver and mercury. It was perfectly normal to see dark grey areas in someone’s mouth when they laughed. Today, your dentist in Lawrence can fill your cavities – and other hollow areas in your teeth – with tooth-colored fillings, also known as composite fillings. Resins that make up composite fillings will match your tooth’s color – so they become invisible when applied. In the end, your smile should look exactly the same as before the decay occurred. Additionally, tooth-colored fillings provide an excellent seal on the affected area, which will work to prevent future tooth decay.
It usually takes a single appointment to place a tooth-colored filling. Thanks to our local anesthesia and range of sedation dentistry options, our team can ensure that your experience is comfortable from start to finish.
After selecting the ideal shade of composite resin to match your enamel, our dentists remove the decayed sections of your tooth and carefully clean the area. Then, we apply the resin to the space where the enamel once was. We do this layer by layer until the original structure has been completely restored. Once this step is finished, all we need to do is shine a special ultraviolet light onto the filling to harden it into place in mere seconds. Finally, we check your bite and make any necessary last-minute adjustments before sending you on your way!
As the name suggests, tooth-colored fillings are by far the more aesthetically pleasing option compared to traditional metal fillings. Some of the additional benefits they provide include:
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