Summerwood Aesthetic Dentistry
Julie A. Spaniel DDS

Tooth-colored Fillingsin Portland

Tooth colored Fillings Portland

When you picture a dental filling, what do you see? If you’re like most people, you likely envision a very noticeable and obvious silver or metal restoration placed over teeth to treat cavities or decay. Understandably, many patients diagnosed with cavities hesitate to get a filling out of concern that the beauty of their smile will be compromised. Fortunately, advances in restorative and cosmetic dentistry have led the way for tooth-colored fillings. Made of composite resin, tooth-colored fillings blend in seamlessly with the surrounding teeth while protecting teeth from future decay and damage.

Dr. Julie Spaniel believes everyone deserves a smile that is both healthy and beautiful. The trusted dentist is pleased to offer an array of dental restorations and services, including tooth-colored fillings, to restore teeth to their optimal function and appearance.

Benefits Of Tooth-Colored Fillings

Tooth-colored fillings are made of composite resin, a material that is both strong and resilient. The material is bonded directly to the remaining tooth structure, protecting it from cavities and decay. In addition to treating cavities, Dr. Spaniel can use tooth-colored fillings to restore teeth that are worn, broken or cracked.

Tooth-colored fillings are crafted to match the exact shade of a patient’s natural tooth enamel. This means there is no discoloration of the tooth, which is a concern with silver amalgam fillings. Tooth-colored fillings blend in seamlessly with the surrounding teeth, for a beautiful and natural-looking smile.

Procedural Details

Tooth-colored fillings are typically placed in a single appointment. The procedure is painless, as a topical anesthetic will be used to numb the mouth prior to placement. Once the numbing has taken effect, Dr. Spaniel will remove all of the decay and thoroughly clean the affected area. She will then begin to place the filling material, typically in layers to ensure optimal coverage, size and shape. The layers will be hardened and bonded into place using a special light. Once Dr. Spaniel has finished placing the composite material, she will polish it so it matches the translucent quality of natural tooth enamel.

Tooth Colored Dental Fillings Portland

With good oral hygiene, tooth-colored fillings can last for many years without a problem. Brush your teeth twice a day and floss them daily. Routine dental exams and cleanings with your dentist are very important for keeping your teeth and fillings healthy. If Dr. Spaniel detects a problem with your filling, she can address it right away.

Keep in mind that not all tooth decay can be treated with a filling. Cavities that are too large for a filling may be more effectively treated with an onlay or inlay. If the damage to the tooth is extensive, Dr. Spaniel may recommend a dental crown. She can discuss your treatment options and explain the advantages and disadvantages of each during an in-office consultation.

Tooth-Colored Fillings FAQs

Why are fillings important?

fillings important

Fillings are the best way to stop tooth decay and infection from progressing after a cavity has developed. If you do not get a filling, your cavity is guaranteed to become bigger and more problematic. With enough time, a cavity will need a root canal — or worse, extraction — due to the extent of the infection. A filling is a much easier and more affordable way to deal with a cavity, so postponing care is not advisable.

Are tooth-colored fillings of similar quality to silver amalgam fillings?

In the past, composite resin fillings were not nearly as durable as metal fillings. However, experts have helped to advance resin so that now these tooth-colored fillings can last for a similar amount of time as traditional (amalgam) fillings. Given that resin fillings are also more attractive, it is no wonder that so many patients and dentists now clearly prefer the tooth-colored fillings.

How long does a tooth-colored filling last?

Composite resin fillings typically have a lifespan of about seven to 10 years before they need to be replaced. To maximize the time before you need another filling, you should brush twice and floss once per day. Additionally, don’t chew on hard foods and objects, as these may crack your fillings prematurely.

Why did I get a cavity if I brush every day?

Nearly 90% of Americans develop a cavity at some point in their life. Even with good brushing and flossing habits, it is possible for some hidden bacteria to wreak havoc. Trust that your strong oral hygiene has helped to prevent countless other cavities — there is no need to feel ashamed.

How painful is a filling?

Dr. Spaniel numbs your tooth with local anesthetic to minimize the discomfort you notice during the procedure. It is not unusual for a tooth with a new filling to be sensitive for a couple days (or even a couple of weeks). To avoid triggering this sensitivity, consider consuming only foods and beverages of a mild temperature, chewing on the other side of your mouth, and using a toothpaste designated for sensitive teeth.

Are fillings covered by insurance?

Tooth-colored fillings are covered by most standard dental insurance policies. Check your individual plan to verify what benefits you are entitled to. Our staff strives to limit your out-of-pocket costs for this important treatment whether or not you have insurance.

What makes a tooth-colored filling different from an onlay or dental sealant?

Tooth-Colored Fillings

All three procedures can help to make your teeth healthier. Whereas fillings and onlays are restorative procedures (meant to correct damage that already exists), a sealant is preventive. The placement of resin over the rough edges of your molars can stop plaque and bacteria from getting stuck in these grooves. While sealants are most often recommended to children, they are also a good idea for some cavity-prone adults.

Onlays use a sturdy metal (usually porcelain) to fit over the top of a tooth that has decayed or broken so that the tooth can remain fully functional.

Achieve A Healthy & Beautiful Smile with Tooth-Colored Fillings

To learn more about tooth-colored fillings and the other restorative and cosmetic dentistry options Dr. Spaniel offers, please schedule an appointment with Summerwood Aesthetic Dentistry. Contact us by calling or emailing our office today.