Atglen Family Dentistry: Teeth-Colored Fillings in Lancaster County, PA
Get quality natural-colored composite fillings in Lancaster County, PA, from Atglen Family Dentistry. Call 610-593-2818 today!
Today, most people prefer tooth-colored composite fillings to traditional metal fillings. Compared to amalgam fillings, teeth-colored fillings are safer and healthier. Additionally, natural-colored fillings provide a much more attractive dental restoration.
At Atglen Family Dentistry in Christiana, PA, we offer aesthetically pleasing teeth-colored fillings to residents of Lancaster County and the surrounding area.
What Are Composite Fillings?
The principal component of composite fillings is that they are made from composite resin, a durable tooth-colored material consisting of glass and plastic. Dentists can use composite fillings on both the front and back of teeth.
Composite resin fillings are an effective dental treatment for mild to moderate tooth cavities. Advanced tooth decay may require more extensive treatment, such as dental crowns.
The Benefits of Tooth-Colored Composite Fillings
Compared to traditional fillings, composite fillings offer several advantages:
- Safety: Amalgam fillings may contain traces of mercury and other toxic metals, which may cause adverse reactions in sensitive individuals. Composite fillings are a suitable choice for all patients, including pregnant women and people with metal sensitivities.
- Tooth integrity: When placing an amalgam filling, a dentist will almost always need to remove some healthy tooth structure to create a secure bond. Composite resin fillings allow better preservation of the tooth structure.
- Stability: Unlike amalgam, composite fillings do not contract or expand with temperature changes. This prevents serious structural damage like cracking.
- Reduced sensitivity: Because metal conducts heat, amalgam fillings may cause heightened tooth sensitivity when patients consume hot or cold food and beverages. In contrast, composite fillings are non-conductive and do not cause sensitivity to heat or cold.
- A more pleasing appearance: Composite resin can match the color of the patient’s teeth so that the fillings are almost invisible.
Composite fillings have only a few drawbacks. Their major disadvantage is lower durability compared to metal fillings. On average, composite fillings wear out and require replacement sooner than amalgam fillings. Some dental insurance policies may only cover composite fillings for visible teeth.
Who is Not a Suitable Candidate for Teeth-Colored Fillings in Lancaster County?
While composite fillings are the preferred choice of most dentists and patients today, in some cases, the dentist may still recommend a traditional amalgam filling.
For example, when a back tooth has a large cavity, the dentist may advise in favor of amalgam thanks to its greater longevity and durability. Back teeth typically withstand higher pressure while chewing, making amalgam the preferred option. Luckily, metal fillings are less visible at the back of the mouth.
What to Expect During a Composite Filling Procedure
A composite filling procedure typically takes less than an hour and includes the following steps:
- Numbing: Before the procedure, the dentist will numb the area using a local anesthetic.
- Decay removal: Once the anesthetic sets in, the dentist will remove the decayed part of the tooth.
- Preparation: After removing the decayed tooth structure, the dentist will prepare the filling area by thorough cleaning and drying.
- Filling placement: The dentist will fill the cavity with composite resin matching the color of the patient’s natural tooth. Then the dentist will use a special UV light to cure the resin and make it stronger.
- Polish: The dentist will check the patient’s bite, gently remove any excess filling material, and polish the surface of the tooth.
Composite fillings harden immediately, and patients can typically eat and drink as usual once the numbness from the local anesthetic has worn off.
Caring for Composite Fillings
With proper oral care, composite fillings should last at least five years. In many cases, they last up to a decade. Here is what you should do to help your new fillings last longer:
- Avoid excessively hard foods like hard candy or ice.
- Brush and floss your teeth regularly.
- Visit your dentist every six months for a check-up and cleaning.
- Avoid beverages that may stain composite fillings, like red wine, black tea, and coffee.
- Address harmful oral habits like teeth grinding and clenching.
If a composite filling falls out, schedule an appointment with your dentist right away. In the meantime, keep the area clean and avoid chewing on the affected tooth.
Dr. Onyinye C. Myers, DDS: Your Family Dentist in Christiana, PA
Since 1979, Atglen Family Dentistry has provided top-quality general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry services. Our patient-centered, dedicated team strives to create a positive dental experience for patients of all ages. We are proud to help our patients achieve brilliant smiles and optimal oral health.
Call 610-593-2818 today to schedule an appointment or ask about teeth-colored fillings in Christiana, Lancaster County, PA.