All About White Fillings
In the past, the majority of dentists used metal amalgam to fill cavities. Although these materials effectively filled the cavity, they also caused problems. In many cases, metal fillings weakened the tooth until it eventually fractured, leading to a need for further dental work. Metal fillings were also unattractive, causing patients to be embarrassed of their smiles. Today, however, dentistry offers another option: white fillings.
Advantages of White Fillings
White fillings offer several advantages over metal amalgam fillings. Specifically, white fillings:
- Strengthen the tooth by exerting inward pressure instead of outward pressure.
- Are bonded to the natural tooth, making them less likely to break.
- Appear more natural, blending in with the color of the existing teeth.
- Do not expand or contract with temperature changes.
- Do not transmit temperature changes to the nerves in the teeth.
- Can be repaired easily.
- Do not darken teeth.
- Can be used to fill smaller cavities without removing any healthy tissue.
- Last for seven to ten years.
About the Procedure
The procedure used to place a white filling is similar to the procedure used to place a metal amalgam filling. First, the dentist will remove the decayed portion of your tooth. Next, the dentist will use a special solution to etch the surface of the tooth so the filling material can bond properly. Once the surface has been properly prepared, the dentist will place the composite in layers, using a curing light to harden each layer placed. Finally, the dentist will test your bite to ensure it is comfortable and perform a final polishing of the treated area.
Once the filling is in place, your tooth will no longer continue to decay. In addition, you will have relief from any pain you are experiencing.
Do White Fillings Require Special Care?
White fillings require the same care as your existing teeth. You should continue to brush your teeth twice each day and floss at least once each day. If you use a mouth rinse, avoid mouth rinses containing alcohol, as these may soften the composite material and shorten the life of your filling. Continue to attend regular dental checkups once every six months and follow any other special instructions from your dentist.
Contact Our Office
Pope Dental offers white, metal free fillings to give you the natural, healthy smile you deserve. Please call our office in Walnut Creek today at 925-939-4989 to make an appointment or learn more about this treatment option.