For many decades, dentists used silver amalgam fillings to repair teeth that had cavities. While this material is effective at filling in a tooth to restore its structure after decay, its silver color is very visible within the smile and some patients have concerns about the mercury content in amalgam. At Shadowridge Dental Group, we are committed to offering our patients in the San Marcos, Oceanside, Carlsbad, Escondido, Encinitas, and neighboring CA areas options when it comes to their dental care, including tooth-colored composite fillings.
Benefits of tooth-colored fillings
Tooth-colored fillings are made from a material called composite resin, which is a durable and versatile material that can be used on both the front and back teeth. White cavity fillings have many benefits:
- They are discreet and blend in with your natural tooth structure so they don’t affect the appearance of your smile
- The composite resin material expands and contracts in a similar manner to your natural teeth, making it less prone to cause fractures or other damage to the surrounding tooth structure
- Unlike amalgam, composite resin bonds to the enamel of the tooth for durable results; in addition, this means a smaller amount of your natural tooth needs to be removed to place a composite filling, making it a more conservative treatment option
The cavity filling process
When you have a cavity in your tooth, it is a small area of decay that has compromised the tooth structure and needs to be removed so that the bacteria don’t infiltrate further into the tooth. When you come in for a filling, we first numb the area thoroughly with a local anesthetic so you are comfortable and pain-free throughout the procedure. Then, we gently remove the decayed area with specialized dental tools and sanitize it before starting to fill it with the composite resin. The material is placed on your tooth one layer at a time, and we cure it layer by layer for a strong and durable finish. Finally, we shape the filling as needed so it feels like your normal tooth and does not impact how your teeth bite together.
With great home hygiene and regular dental cleanings and check-ups, many patients can avoid needing to see us for a cavity filling; however, we understand that life happens, and some people are simply more susceptible to decay than others. At Shadowridge Dental Group, we provide non-judgmental, gentle care to restore your smile back to health. Call our San Marcos, CA office today at (760) 284-8111 to schedule your appointment!