Tooth-Colored Fillings: A Natural-Looking Way to Treat Dental Decay

If you have developed a cavity, a filling can repair your tooth and restore your full dental function. Kenneth W. Coffey, DDS, places only tooth-colored fillings at his Orland Park, IL, office. Made of highly durable composite, this type of restoration can give you the most realistic results possible while offering numerous functional benefits over traditional metal fillings. For example, composite typically forms a stronger bond with dental tissue than silver amalgam; therefore, it can more effectively strengthen your tooth and reduce your risk for further oral health complications. In addition to filling dental cavities, Dr. Coffey can also replace your old metal fillings with composite to help create a more natural-looking smile.

When Do We Place Dental Fillings?

If you have a small or medium-sized cavity, it is likely that Dr. Coffey will recommend a filling. To determine whether a filling is necessary, Dr. Coffey can review x-rays of your tooth to evaluate the extent of the cavity and rule out the need for a more extensive restoration such as a dental crown. A tooth-colored filling can help strengthen your weakened tooth by helping to prevent cracks and other structural damage. At the same time, it will also seal the cavity, keeping bacteria from reforming and helping to combat future dental infection.

What to Expect When You Receive a Tooth-Colored Filling

Before placing a filling, Dr. Coffey will clean out the cavity to remove any decayed tissue and bacteria. Your tooth and the surrounding gum tissue will be numb, so you should feel very little discomfort during this process. After choosing a color of composite that blends with your smile, Dr. Coffey will apply the material in layers. Hardening each layer with a special curing light, he can build a stable restoration that forms a strong bond with your tooth. When the cavity has been completely filled in, Dr. Coffey will make sure that the composite does not affect the force of your bite. If needed, he will trim off any excess material before polishing your tooth and finishing the procedure.

Made of highly durable composite, this type of restoration can give you the most realistic results possible while offering numerous functional benefits over traditional metal fillings.

After placement, Dr. Coffey can explain the most effective ways to care for your filling. For example, it is important to maintain daily dental hygiene and to schedule regular cleanings at our office. These steps will not only protect your filling but can also help preserve your overall dental health. Additionally, you should avoid putting undue force on teeth with fillings. While a filling can withstand the normal force of eating, biting your nails, chewing ice, and using your teeth to open packages can weaken the composite. With proper care, your fillings can last five to 10 years or longer.

The Benefits of Tooth-Colored Fillings

The most obvious advantage of tooth-colored fillings is their realistic appearance. Over time, the metal in amalgam fillings can seep into your teeth, permanently discoloring your tooth. In contrast, composite will be an almost perfect match to your tooth, and it will never affect the shade of your grin.

An illustration of an amalgam filling and a composite filling

Composite fillings are more natural-looking than amalgam fillings and can offer a number of practical benefits as well.

At the same time, composite fillings offer very important functional benefits. First, when placing this type of filling, Dr. Coffey can take a more conservative approach. Accordingly, he will not need to remove as much tissue as he would to place a silver amalgam filling. Second, composite will form a tighter bond with your tooth, providing extra strength and stability. Finally, while metal can expand and contract in response to temperature variations, weakening the tooth over time, composite is a stable material and will not fluctuate in response to hot or cold.

Contact Us for More Information

If you are suffering from a cavity, or if you want to replace an old filling with a modern composite restoration, contact our office online today. You can also call us at (708) 403-7888 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Coffey.

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