If you don’t take care of your teeth properly, they may get decay/cavities/dental caries. If cavities are detected early, they may be small enough to be repaired with a filling. Fillings can be done in gold, silver (amalgam), or white (composite).
What are White Fillings?
White fillings are cosmetic dental prosthetics which are used to restore the natural structure and appearance of teeth. The filling material is called composite resin. It is a combination of different materials including glass ionomer, thermoplastics, silica, polymers, and quartz.
What makes composite resin unique is that it bonds with the tooth enamel. Unlike porcelain which needs cement to adhere to the tooth surface, composite resin can attach to the tooth. This process is called “dental bonding”.
In applying white fillings, the surface of the tooth needs to be etched with an acid gel first. This acid will roughen up the surface, making it easier for the filling to stick to the surface of the tooth. When cured with light, a chemical process allows the fillings to bond with the tooth surface. Once cured, the fillings become bonded to the tooth.
When are White Fillings Used?
The most common application of white fillings is for restoring the structure of decayed teeth. When a tooth gets decayed, the bacteria gnaw away the enamel, creating a small hole on the surface. Over time, the hole grows bigger, which we then refer to as a cavity.
Dentists need to hollow out these cavities and remove all evidence of decay before they can be restored. Once the cavity has been cleaned out, the fillings are applied to cover up the hole and to smooth out the tooth surface.
When fillings are used, but not in cavities, the procedure can simply be called dental bonding. Dental bonding is a corrective measure which is applicable in such situations as:
- Restoring small chips or fractures on teeth;
- Closing gaps between teeth (diastema);
- Whitening a single discolored tooth;
- making slight modifications on tooth shape or size;
- covering tooth roots that have been exposed due to gum recession;
- protecting teeth from sensitivity.
Benefits of White Fillings
White fillings provide the following benefits:
- Aesthetic appeal. As compared to amalgam fillings, white fillings are more attractive because they are colored to match your natural teeth. White fillings can easily be mixed to achieve the tooth color, making restorations virtually invisible.
- Strength and durability. Since white fillings create a direct bond with the natural tooth material, it adheres strongly to the tooth. The composite resin material is also made of resilient components like glass which can withstand chewing, biting, and other occlusal forces.
- Tooth protection. Covering a tooth with a white filling protects it from further damage or decay. If a tooth is sensitive, the filling can close the holes in the dentin (middle of the tooth) and prevent any substance from coming in contact with the pulp (nerve). If the tooth was decayed, the fillings can prevent the development of new decay since bacteria cannot break down the composite resin.
- Ease of application. White fillings do not require extensive removal of tooth material. The process is simple, and multiple filings can be placed in an hour in most cases. Your cosmetic dentist at Above Dental can easily sculpt the bonding material to match the shape of your teeth.
How Much Do White Fillings Cost?
White fillings are one of the most cost-effective, cosmetic and restorative dental treatments available today. If you have concerns about dental finances, you may discuss this with our dental team. We have several payment options available to help you out with the costs of your treatment.
Get White Fillings from Above Dental in North Bend
Above Dental has been named the Best Dentist in the South Coast for three years in a row. We are very proud to say that our dentists are highly skilled and well-trained in performing cosmetic dental procedures such as white dental fillings.
If you have some dental damage and would like to get cosmetic treatment in the form of dental fillings, please give us a call at (541) 756-0155. You can also send us a direct appointment request using our online form here.
You are welcome to visit our dental office at 2070 Virginia Avenue in North Bend, for more information about our services. Our dental team will work with you to restore the beauty of your smile and health of your teeth.