The need for dental fillings comes to most people at some point in their lives. Traditional metal fillings are unsightly, and they may even pose health and environmental hazards. While these fillings, called amalgam fillings, have been proven safe and have been used for years, they contain mercury, and many people prefer fillings without mercury. White fillings are not only mercury-free, but they look much better than silver fillings as well.
Tooth-colored or white fillings, also called composite fillings, are made of resin that is layered into cavities to fill them. With metal fillings, more of the tooth has to be removed before the filling is placed, and some of it is a perfectly healthy tooth.
Metal fillings also often fall out and can cause pain due to a metal-on-metal effect when two fillings touch each other. White fillings are securely bonded to your teeth and don’t contain any metal to cause pain.
White fillings are also called tooth-colored fillings because color can be matched to your teeth as closely as possible so the fillings will be virtually invisible. While no filling lasts forever, white fillings may last longer on average than metal fillings.
The procedure of getting white fillings is similar to the procedure of getting metal fillings. First, our Washington DC dentist will remove the decayed part of the tooth to be filled, and then clean it. The tooth must be isolated to keep moisture away. Adhesives are applied, the resin is painted into the cavity, and then it is cured with light.
Care of white fillings involves regular brushing and flossing daily. The material is the same that our Washington DC dentist uses for crowns or tooth restorations. It may be susceptible to mild staining from some foods, coffee or tobacco, but provides a more attractive and natural-looking alternative to the silver-color of traditional fillings.