It used to be that you always knew when someone had a cavity filled or other dental work done, because they’d have a shiny new metal filling or cap. Now, though, the times (and dental technology) have changed, and the au natural look, especially for front teeth, is a must.
At Eric Klein DDS & Associates, Dr. Klein and his team provide patients with state-of-the-art dental technology, including tooth-colored fillings. More than just a change of color, these materials come with a number of benefits. Here’s what you need to know.
It would be wonderful if everyone went through life with perfect teeth and great oral health, but the reality is that, even in a First World country like the United States, dental hygiene is not all it should be.
One of the most common dental problems is caries (cavities), areas of decay caused by bacteria in your mouth that feed off the sugars in food debris, producing acids that etch away at your tooth enamel.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 1 in 4 adults from 20 to 64 years old had untreated tooth decay from 2011 to 2016, setting them up for pain, gum disease, and loose or lost teeth.
Dentists treat caries by removing the decayed material and using a filler to plug the hole, restoring the tooth to its proper function.
For decades, amalgam was the filler of choice. It’s a mixture of silver, copper, tin, and sometimes zinc combined with mercury. As you can imagine, its biggest problem was its visibility, especially when used on the front teeth.
In addition, the material has drawn a bit of controversy more recently because some people believe the mercury component emits small amounts of vapor that can lead to a range of health problems, from multiple sclerosis and arthritis to mental disorders.
However, the federal government conducted several investigations, all of which showed the fears were unfounded, and amalgam’s use is currently supported by the Food and Drug Administration, the National Institute on Dental and Craniofacial Research, and the American Dental Association, among others.
Nevertheless, amalgam is being phased out for a completely different reason: the new, safe, tooth-colored composite resins are hard to distinguish from natural teeth.
Aside from aesthetics, tooth-colored fillings offer other important benefits.
As fast alternatives to the much more expensive dental crowns, tooth-colored fillings repair tooth damage in a single visit, and there’s no downtime.
Tooth-colored fillings not only fix the big holes, but they can also repair small cracks and chips in your teeth, and they may help even out misshapen teeth.
Unlike amalgam, which is applied like a paste, tooth-colored fillings are applied in liquid form. That means they can flow into every crevice and the entire chewing surface of the tooth, so the dentist has to remove less of your natural tooth structure.
The Eric Klein DDS & Associates team removes harmful decay and places your tooth-colored filling in a single appointment. They administer a local anesthetic before they start to keep you comfortable during treatment.
Next, they use special tools to remove the decayed tissue while preserving as much of the natural tooth structure as they can. Then, they apply the liquid layer-by-layer, hardening the material using a special curing light after each layer is applied. They repeat the process until the filling completely fills the hole where the decay was and restores the size and shape of your natural tooth.
If you need to get fillings but are concerned about aesthetics, don’t be; today’s tooth-colored fillings will make your smile look like new. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation with our team, call Eric Klein DDS & Associates at 203-849-8633 or book online with us today.