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Smile Zone Dental Uses Tooth-Colored Composite for Patients

When you have a cavity or significant tooth decay, fillings are one of the most commonly used dental restorative procedures to “fill” in the decayed area once it’s been removed. Dental fillings are also used to repair broken or cracked teeth. Today, fillings come in many materials, but Smile Zone Dental uses tooth-colored fillings for our Fort Gratiot and MI patients. If you have a cavity, you can relax knowing you’re in good hands with our family dentists. We use state-of-the-art dental techniques and equipment for safe, durable treatment suitable for patients of all ages. Contact us today to learn more about tooth-colored fillings or to schedule an appointment for an exam.

What Are Tooth-Colored Fillings? Are They Safer Than Amalgam?

In years past, silver amalgam and gold fillings were used by dentists to fill cavities. Silver amalgam is a mixture of mercury, silver, tin, zinc, and copper. However, dental technology has evolved over the years to offer more aesthetically pleasing options, including tooth-colored fillings. Aside from having a smile marred by visible metal, there are other drawbacks to not using tooth-colored fillings. Many dental practices have stopped using silver amalgam fillings altogether because of the mercury found inside them. Although not all patients are allergic to mercury, there are growing public health concerns associated with having mercury fillings. Most tooth-colored fillings today are made using porcelain or composite resins for a metal- and mercury-free restorative option preferred by many patients. Because they’re becoming more widely accepted, dental insurance is also more likely to cover the costs of tooth-colored fillings at least partially when compared to coverage in years past. However, you would need to check with your insurance provider to determine the amount of coverage.

Patient Benefits of Tooth-Colored Composite Resin Fillings

As their name implies, tooth-colored fillings more closely resemble the natural shade of your teeth. Made of tooth-colored composite resin, these fillings look so natural most people won’t be able to tell you even have them inside your mouth, so that you can smile, speak, and chew in confidence. Not only do they look and feel great, but tooth-colored fillings also mimic your natural tooth structure in terms of strength and wear resistance. Because composite resin adheres differently than metal, tooth-colored fillings are less likely to crack, offering superior durability over amalgam fillings.

Another advantage offered by tooth-colored fillings is they require far less removal of healthy tooth enamel to secure them in place when compared to other filling types. You can rest assured tooth-colored composite resins are biocompatible, and many patients experience less sensitivity after a tooth restoration using them. They’re especially ideal for small- to moderate-sized dental restorations involving your front teeth. Thanks to continuous improvements in dental techniques, tooth-colored fillings usually only require a visit or two at the most. Sometimes a consultation is needed with a follow-up visit to place your new fillings, but it depends on the size and severity of the cavity.

older couple smiling together

What to Expect During a Tooth-Colored Fillings Procedure

Getting tooth-colored fillings in our Fort Gratiot and MI office is a quick, relatively painless procedure. First, our dentist will carefully numb the area around your tooth using a local anesthetic. Next, we’ll remove the decayed portion of your tooth using either a dental drill or a laser. Then we’ll clean the area to ensure all debris and bacteria have also been removed, so you don’t run the risk of infection. Next, we’ll fill in the area of your tooth with the tooth-colored composite resin. Once it’s been placed, we’ll use a specialized light to cure or bond the resin material to the remaining tooth structure. Finally, we’ll shape the composite resin, trimming off any excess materials and polishing your tooth to ensure the best fit and feel for a longer-lasting restoration.

mom smiling with adult daughter

How Long Are Tooth-Colored Fillings Expected to Last?

Tooth-colored composite resin fillings may not last as long as traditional silver amalgam or gold fillings, but it all depends on the size of the cavity being filled and your dental hygiene. Over time, your fillings may fall out or crack, but this is perfectly normal, and it happens no matter what filling material is used. You may need to replace tooth-colored fillings every 5-7 years versus 15-30 years, but this is a trade-off many people are willing to make for a more natural-looking smile.

Curious About Tooth-Colored Fillings? Contact Us Today!

Would you like to learn more about the benefits of tooth-colored fillings used at Smile Zone Dental? Contact our Fort Gratiot and MI office to schedule a consultation at your convenience. Not only do we accept most major dental plans, but we also offer trusted third-party financing options through CareCredit®, Lending Club, and Proceed Finance to offset the costs of dental treatments for our patients. Not sure if tooth-colored fillings are right for you? Talk to our dedicated dentists today!

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