Beautiful Smiles for a Beautiful New Mexico
Boyd Newsome, DMD
Wesley Hanchett, DDS
Tooth Colored Dental Fillings in Albuquerque, NM
Tooth colored dental fillings are the ideal way to restore smaller amounts of decay, while still maintaining the natural look of your smile.
Dental fillings are generally the go-to treatment for cavities. To treat a cavity in your tooth, your dentist will remove the decayed part of the tooth and then apply a dental filling material to cover the area left by the decay.
Dental fillings can also be used in broken or cracked teeth, as well as teeth that have been damaged due to misuse like biting on hard objects.
Let’s take a closer look at what dental fillings are and what choices you have when getting fillings.
How to Know if You Need Dental Fillings
Only a dental professional can tell whether you have a cavity that should be filled. During a dental examination, your dentist will check the surfaces of your teeth with the help of a small mirror.
If he finds anything that seems abnormal, he’ll examine it further with specialized instruments. You may also need an X-ray on a part or all of your mouth. After the exam, your dentist will recommend an appropriate treatment depending on the extent of cavity-induced damaged.
Dental Fillings Procedure
First, a local anesthetic will be administered to numb the area around the affected tooth. Then, the decayed portion will be removed using a drill, laser, or air abrasion instrument.
Afterward, your dentist will examine the area to see if all the decayed materials have been eliminated. If all is good, the dentist will prepare the area for a dental filling by clearing the cavity of debris and harmful microbes. If the decay is close to the root, a protective liner may have to be put in the cavity first before the filling is applied.
Once the dentist fills your tooth, they’ll finish and polish it. In the case of tooth-colored fillings, there may be several additional steps. Once the decayed portion has been removed, and the area cleaned, the tooth-colored substance is applied in layers. Afterward, a special light is used to harden each layer.
Once the multi-layering is done, your dentist will mold the composite material to the desired shape and cut off any extra material before polishing the outcome.
Types of Fillings
There are several options for dental fillings available, and each of them has its pros and cons. They vary in material, strength, and color. The best dental fillings for you will largely depend on the extent of decay, cost, and your aesthetic desires.
Here are the most common types of fillings:
Amalgam has been used in the dental industry for over a century, and amalgam fillings are one of the most popular materials for filling teeth. They are strong, which makes them perfect for filling cavities in the back teeth, the molars and premolars, where most chewing occurs. These fillings are composed of several metallic elements. As such, they can be noticed easily when you open your mouth. They are also one of the least expensive dental filling materials.
Composite fillings are composed of glass or quartz filler. One of their primary advantages is that they can be made to match your tooth color. They are also quite long-lasting and can be best applied in areas of your mouth that don’t perform heavy chewing.
Ceramic fillings are typically made of porcelain, and are tooth-colored. Compared to composite fillings, ceramic is usually less likely to exhibit tooth stains over time. Their major downside is that they are more expensive than their amalgam and composite counterparts.
These include gold fillings and silver amalgam fillings, which are the most common metallic dental fillings. Gold is the most expensive of all types of fillings coming in at about ten times more costly than silver amalgam fillings. That is often attributed to material costs, and the fact that gold is more durable than silver. Gold fillings are also much more appealing. Generally, metal fillings can go for up to 15 years before you have to consider replacing them.
Glass Ionomer Filings
Glass Ionomer is a combination of glass and acrylic. It’s used to manufacture dental fillings that release fluoride to enhance tooth protection. Unfortunately, glass ionomer is the least durable when compared to others. You may need to replace them in less than five years.
Caring for Dental Fillings
Your teeth may become a little sensitive and painful after getting tooth fillings. You should expect that discomfort to subside in a few days.
After the dental filling procedure, you should continue caring for your teeth as usual. You may also consider investing in products explicitly manufactured to protect sensitive teeth. Be sure to brush at least twice a day and to floss regularly.
If you think you need dental fillings, or if you want to learn more about some of the other services that our office offers, get in touch with Riverpoint Family, Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry. You’ll be expertly examined and advised.
Voted One of
Albuquerque's Best Dentists
5 Consecutive years
2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019
Riverpoint Family, Cosmetic,
& Implant Dentistry
4421 Irving Blvd NW, Suite B
Albuquerque, NM 87114
Office: (505) 821-6910
Fax: (505) 792-5771
Monday - Thursday: 7:00 AM – 7:30 PM
Fridays: 7:30 AM – 2:30 PM