If you’ve ever treated a cavity with a metal filling, then you might be reminded of it every time you look into the mirror to brush and floss your teeth. You might also remind others when you speak and smile, if the filled tooth is noticeable. For patients who prefer a more discreet solution to cavity treatment, tooth-colored fillings have proven a more attractive and highly effective alternative to metal.
What are they made of?
The secret to tooth-colored fillings’ success lies in the material – a safe, biocompatible mixture of finely ground acrylic and quartz-like particles that can be tinted to match your tooth’s unique color. Composite resin not only looks natural, but also works better with your natural tooth structure to restore the tooth and prevent the cavity from growing larger.
Do they really look natural?
Because composite resin can be custom-tinted, your dentist can ensure that the filling matches the unique shade and hue of your tooth structure. Once the filling is placed and cured, it will be virtually indistinguishable from the natural tooth structure surrounding it, making your cavity and restoration nearly undetectable to everyone else.
What if my cavity’s too big for a filling?
In some cases, a cavity can be too large for a filling to effectively restore the tooth’s strength, in which case your dentist may place a lifelike dental crown over the tooth once the filling is in place. If the decay that caused the cavity has reached far enough into the tooth, then you might require root canal treatment instead of a filling to successfully remove it.