Most of us end up needing one or more fillings at some point.
Fillings are a long-lasting restorative material used to fix tooth structure after damage due to things like decayed teeth or broken teeth.
In the past, teeth were filled with cast gold fillings or an amalgam (a mix of metals such as silver, copper and mercury) which could be seen on the surface of the tooth. These days, a composite white filling is used most often. Not only does its natural look blend in with your teeth, but it can also be placed in a single visit.
What Is a White Filling?
White fillings (also known as a composite resin) are a tooth-colored mixture of plastic and silica. White fillings are popular because they match the color, texture, and translucency of natural teeth, providing a much better result than amalgam fillings and work especially well for the front teeth to create a beautiful smile.
What Are the Main Advantages of White Fillings?
Composite fillings are more cosmetically appealing than silver amalgam fillings. They closely match the color of surrounding teeth and may be applied both on front and back teeth.
White fillings are directly bonded to the teeth creating a super tight fit to the natural tooth. This also provides a protective effect against further tooth fracture.
White fillings provide good durability and resistance. The bonding of white fillings to the tooth restores 90% of the original tooth’s strength. Composite fillings usually last about 8 years.
- Free of Toxic Substances
Made of plastic mixture filled with glass particles, white fillings are free of mercury and other toxic material.
How Is a White Filling Procedure Performed?
The composite filling material is chemically bonded to teeth. Therefore, the placement of white fillings doesn’t necessarily require anesthesia. Numbing the area is needed in case of deep tooth decay beneath the enamel layer.
- Step 1.
First, the tooth surface where the filling will be applied is cleaned. After the decay is removed, mild acid gel is applied to this area to open pores in the enamel. Then, a bonding agent is placed into the open pores and cured.
- Step 2.
After the curing procedure, white filling is placed in layers until the desired shape is achieved. A special curing light helps to harden the composite material. Once the filling hardens, it will be shaped to fit the tooth by smoothing and polishing.
With good dental care white fillings can last for many years. There can be some sensitivity within few days after the filling is placed. Use a soft toothbrush, a non-abrasive fluoride toothpaste, floss your teeth regularly – this will increase the lifespan of the fillings.
Post Operative Instructions
Once you have white tooth-colored fillings placed in your mouth, it should function beautifully for many years. However, proper oral hygiene is necessary to maintain your fillings in a good state as long as possible.
- Some time after the treatment (usually 1-3 hours) your mouth will be numb. That is why, don’t chew on the numbed side to avoid biting your lips or tongue. If your child has been undergone anesthesia, be especially careful. The feeling of numbness is a new experience for children, so they often “play” with it trying to bite or chew on the numbed area on purpose. After day 1-2 if you feel your bite is not correct please call our office and come in for bite adjustment.
- Once the anesthetic effect wears off, you may feel discomfort in the area for some time. When habitual feelings are back, check your bite. If your teeth are not touching properly when you bite down, you need to adjust this imbalance.
- If you are having a sedative filling, it means that the decay is very deep and has damaged dentin structure close to the nerve. A sedative filling is made in hope that the tooth will heal and won’t need a root canal. If you experience any pain, gum swelling or other permanent discomfort feelings, don’t hesitate to contact your dentist immediately.
- Unlike amalgam fillings, with white fillings you can chew immediately after the procedure or when the numbness decreases. Nevertheless, try to avoid chewing hard and sticky foods during at least 24 hours.
- It is possible that you will feel pain and sensitivity around the injection site. In case of deep feeling when it is performed close to the nerve, you may have a continued pain for a few days. To help yourself, use over-the-counter pain relievers. To reduce sensitivity and discomfort, avoid hard and sweet foods and extreme temperatures. Usually, the situation resolves within a few days-weeks. However, if you continue experience severe pain and sensitivity, contact us.
- Proper regular brushing and flossing and healthy diet will help maintain your fillings in tip-top condition. You can use a sensitivity toothpaste to decrease sensitivity. Home remedies such as rinsing mouth with salt water may also bring relief.
Aesthetic Dental & Specialty Center features a comfortable relaxed atmosphere. Our friendly staff and hygienists help put our patients at ease — even the most nervous ones. Our Santa Clarita dentists also provide oral conscious and IV advanced sedation for those patients who need more help to relax.
Whether you need general dentistry services or you have more complex dental needs, our expert dental team serves patients of all ages, and we accept most dental insurance.
No matter where you’re traveling from — Valencia or Stevenson Ranch — Aesthetic Dental & Specialty Center is here to serve you. Take a look at the areas we serve below and schedule a complimentary consultation today!