Tooth-colored fillings restore strong, healthy teeth. Unlike metal fillings, they are not a silver color that stands out in your smile. Tooth-colored fillings have been used widely in genral dentistry for decades because they are durable and look like your natural tooth.

What Are Tooth-Colored Fillings?

Tooth-colored dental fillings, also known as composite fillings, are a good way to treat cavities. Our dentists will remove the decayed area and fill the space left behind to protect the tooth. Tooth-colored fillings can also repair minor damage such as a small chip or crack.

This type of filling has been used for many years. It is suitable for treating front and back teeth.

Who Is an Ideal Candidate for Tooth-Colored Fillings?

Ideally, candidates want a natural-looking way to restore a tooth being treated for a cavity.  Tooth-colored fillings are a good option in many cases.  As an added benefit, the filling will also help protect the tooth from further decay.   However, in rare cases, the cavity might be large enough to require a crown, inlay, or onlay instead.  Our dentists can discuss this consideration with you after performing an examination. Then, we will suggest the treatment that best suits your needs.

Additionally, tooth-colored fillings are usually a great choice for teeth with a small chip or crack. Talk to our team to learn more about whether composite fillings are a good fit for your needs.

How Long Do Composite Fillings Last?

Composite fillings are durable and strongly bonded to the treated teeth. They have an average lifespan of about 5-7 years. However, the longevity of tooth-colored fillings can vary depending on a few factors. Those factors include the location of the filling, oral hygiene habits, and the presence of teeth grinding. Our dentists will give recommendations to help protect your fillings.

Often, composite fillings can be repaired and replaced. If you suspect a problem with your tooth-colored filling, visit our office to discuss various options for restoring your dental work.

Will Anyone Be Able to Notice My Fillings?

Composite fillings are shade-matched to your teeth. That allows them to blend in seamlessly and makes them incredibly difficult to spot.  People won’t be able to notice them like they would other dental fillings. However, it’s possible for the dental filling or your natural tooth to become discolored over time. If that happens, then your dental work might become easier to detect.

With some effort, you can keep your composite fillings and teeth looking bright for years to come. Avoid staining substances such as coffee, red wine, pasta sauce, and tobacco products. Consider a professional teeth whitening treatment if your teeth have lost their white color.

Keep in mind that white fillings are often used on front teeth because they have such a natural appearance. That said, they are also an excellent option for repairing less visible back teeth.

How Do I Know Which Kind of Fillings Are Right for Me?

Our dentists empower patients to make informed decisions about their dental care. We can explain the different types of fillings and suggest the one that makes the most sense for you. Each type of filling comes with its own factors to consider, such as the look, cost, durability, and longevity. In most cases, we find that composite fillings offer the most benefits to our patients.

White fillings are more affordable, natural-looking, and longer-lasting than some other choices. These advantages make them a good solution for treating cavities, chips, and cracks in teeth.

Are Composite Fillings Safer Than Amalgam (Silver) Fillings?

The American Dental Association asserts that dental amalgam is a safe restorative material. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration cautions that certain people, including pregnant women, should avoid dental amalgam, if possible, due to the potential health effects.

The concern is that silver fillings release a small amount of mercury in the form of a vapor. But you should know that no studies have linked dental amalgam to any adverse health effects.

Still, composite fillings are a good option for patients who want an alternative to amalgam fillings. They do not contain mercury. Instead, they are made of glass or quartz and resin.

Our dentists will gladly discuss the considerations associated with each type of tooth filling.

Are There Any Disadvantages To Composite Fillings?

Composites are a great option for most patients. They are widely used today because they offer aesthetic advantages and good durability. However, it usually takes longer to place a tooth-colored filling than a metal one. White fillings may also need to be replaced more often.

In many cases, these disadvantages don’t outweigh the benefits. However, it is important to work with our experienced dentists to determine the most appropriate treatment for your smile.

Are There Different Types Of Tooth-Colored Fillings?

There are a few types of tooth-colored fillings. Composite resin is the most common. Other options include ceramics and glass ionomer. These types of fillings are not as widely used.

Ceramic fillings blend in with your smile. They are often made using porcelain. These fillings are better suited to treating larger areas of damage or decay. They may be called inlays or onlays.

Do They Look Natural?

White fillings are known for their natural appearance. Our dentists can customize them to match the exact shade of your smile. They blend in quite seamlessly with your existing tooth structure.

Other filling materials, such as amalgam or cast gold, are very noticeable. Many patients don’t want their dental fillings to stand out, and that’s why they pursue tooth-colored fillings instead.

Benefits of White Fillings

Dental fillings restore a tooth after it is treated for decay (also called a cavity). There are several types of filling material, including metal and tooth-colored composite resin. Tooth-colored fillings, or “white fillings,” are the most common these days.

At Aspenwood Dental Associates and Colorado Dental Implant Center, we make sure you know all of your options for restoring your teeth, which may include fillings or a dental crown. White fillings have several advantages:

  • Matches the natural shade of your tooth
  • Blends into your smile
  • Can be used on both the front and back teeth
  • Forms a durable bond with the tooth enamel
  • Does not expand and contract in response to temperature changes in your mouth like metal does, so they do not cause cracks in the tooth

Placing white fillings is fast and convenient. The decay is removed and the tooth is cleaned. The filling is bonded to the tooth and polished. As a final step, your bite is checked by our dentists and your new smile is ready to go.

Prevention of Dental Cavities

The best way to prevent cavities is with good oral hygiene, but if you do develop a cavity, tooth-colored fillings are a great way to restore and protect teeth.

  • Brush your teeth two to three times a day. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush, which is gentle on the gums and enamel. Use light pressure and brush for 2 minutes each time.
  • Floss every day. Flossing remains the most effective way to remove food debris and plaque between your teeth and under the gum line, where toothbrush bristles cannot reach.
  • Visit the dentist every six months. Regular dental cleanings are essential to preventing cavities. Our experienced, skilled hygienists remove plaque and tartar that cannot be removed with your brush and floss. Our team also takes periodic checkup x-rays to aid in identifying decay and treating in the most conservative way possible.

Sugary beverages like soda, sports drinks and fruit juice can be another factor when it comes to tooth decay. The bacteria that cause cavities love sugar and starches. After drinking a soda, rinse your mouth with water to clean the beverage off your teeth. It is also a good idea to avoid sipping on soda slowly throughout the day, which increases the amount of time the beverage sits on your teeth.

Find Out If You Need a Filling

To arrange an exam and X-rays with our experienced, caring dentists in Aurora, Colorado, and to find out if you need tooth-colored fillings, please contact Aspenwood Dental Associates and Colorado Dental Implant Center at 303-751-3321. We proudly care for people from Denver, Centennial and areas across the state.

If you have any questions, please reach out to our office