Modern Dental Care
What Are Tooth-Colored Fillings
When you have a cavity in a tooth, or an injury causes part of a tooth to break off, the tooth needs to be filled to prevent bacteria from entering the pulp of the tooth, causing infection. Filling the tooth also restores the tooth’s ability to function, as it is hard to chew with a broken or decayed tooth. At Modern Dental in East Windsor, NJ, we can provide tooth-colored fillings to patients to restore the function and appearance of a decayed or broken tooth.
Tooth-colored fillings are made from a composite material that closely matches the shade of your natural teeth, making the fillings blend in well with the rest of your teeth. Another advantage to using composite fillings over other materials, such as metal, is that even a severely decayed or broken tooth can often be repaired with composite filling because the material does not require as much of a base tooth to work on.
Preparing the Tooth for Filling
Unless a tooth is severely decayed, you will not need a local anesthetic before the procedure. If decay has made a tooth very sensitive, the tooth will be numbed before it is filled. Any decayed portion of the tooth is removed, and then the tooth is cleaned and polished. The shade of tooth-colored composite will be selected based on the color of your natural teeth. The dentist will then isolate the tooth that is being filled, as any contact with the saliva in your mouth will prohibit the filling from bonding to the tooth properly. The dentist will then etch the surface of the tooth to make it rough, which will aid in the bonding of the filling. A liquid conditioning agent is then applied to the tooth to ready it for the filling.
Placing the Tooth-Colored Filling
The composite material is applied to the tooth in layers, molded, and hardened quickly through use of special lighting. Additional layers are added until the desired amount of filling is in the tooth. The dentist will then use a special tool to shape the filling so that it takes on the contours of a natural tooth. The dentist will then remove the isolation materials and check your bite to ensure that the filling matches with the contours of the teeth above or below the filled tooth. Adjustments will be made as needed, and then the filling will be polished. The filling procedure is complete at that point, and the tooth is restored.