At some point, most of us will have a cavity that needs a filling. There used to be just a few options for how those dental “caries” were filled, including amalgam fillings, which uses a combination of metals that were used for some 150 years. Although amalgams were effective in preventing cavities from growing, they are an unaesthetic dark gray color.
In recent years, however, composite fillings have continued to improve to the point that they are not only made of materials that can match the color of your teeth, but they offer excellent durability and resistance to fracture as well. Ricard Family Dentistry in both Fort Pierce and Port St. Lucie offers white fillings for patients who need to have a cavity filled.
Advantages of White Fillings
White fillings, which are also called composite fillings, are made of a mixture of tiny glass or quartz particles in a resin medium. They have advantages over amalgams beyond their ability to be matched to the color of the tooth they are filling:
- They chemically bond to the tooth structure, providing further support for the tooth.
- Filling preparation is generally less invasive because in most cases less of the decay needs to be removed from the tooth before the filling is applied.
- They are versatile and are often used to repair teeth that are chipped, broken, or worn.
- Composite fillings have less of a tendency to expand and contract in the presence of hot or cold liquids, meaning the tooth is less likely to crack or fracture than with an amalgam filling.
In addition, they are particularly suitable for repairing teeth in the front of the mouth because they can be matched to the problem tooth.
What to Expect After a Filling
It is not uncommon to experience a bit of tooth sensitivity after a filling is placed. The tooth might be sensitive to pressure, air, sweet foods and drinks, or temperature. Generally, this resolves on its own quickly. It’s best during that time to simply avoid those things that are causing the sensitivity. If the sensitivity doesn’t diminish on its own, contact our office for recommendations.
Caring for Teeth After Fillings
Taking care of your teeth after a filling is the same as before you got the filling: Follow good oral hygiene practices by brushing twice a day and flossing at least once, and visiting your dentist at least twice a year for routine checkups and cleaning. If you notice any pain or discomfort around the filling, contact your dentist.
Find Out More About White Fillings
Whether you need a new filling or you would like your old dark fillings replaced, contact Ricard Family Dentistry in Port St. Lucie for more information. We look forward to seeing you!