Seamless Non-Metal Dental Restorations
When teeth weaken due to factors such as trauma, tooth decay, and oral disease, fillings are available to restore and strengthen them. Fillings are dental materials used to repair decay, cracks, breaks, and chips in teeth. When the problem is caught early enough, fillings can help save your teeth from oral surgeries like extraction and eliminate the need for more costly restorations like dental implants.
Metal fillings are the traditional method of restoring function to damaged teeth, but they can stain, and do excessive damage to your teeth. They can also shock the inside of your mouth and release toxic metal vapors over time. Fortunately, at Mid-Valley Dental Care, the doctors Lau offer a non-metal alternative called composite or “tooth-colored” fillings.
What Are Composite Fillings?
Composite fillings are a non-metal alternative to gold and silver (amalgam) fillings that provide major benefits for your smile. Instead of metal, composite fillings are usually made of a mixture of acrylic resin and high-quality materials such as powdered quartz and glass.
The Benefits of Composite Fillings
Composite fillings have become the restorative method of choice for many dental patients for several reasons including:
Natural Appearance – We customize your fillings to match the shape, size, and color of your natural teeth, so they blend in seamlessly with your smile.
Insulation Against Electricity – Composite fillings remove the chance of galvanic shock, an electric current passing between your teeth and shocking your mouth. This can occur when you have metal fillings of different compositions.
Non-Toxic –The lack of metal in composite fillings eliminates the chance of reactions due to metal allergies and mercury or lead poisoning.
Reinforces and Preserves Enamel – Composite fillings bond directly to the natural tooth structure, reinforcing it. Composite fillings also require less of the enamel be removed to make way for the filling, preserving as much of the natural tooth structure as possible and helping to maintain the tooth’s integrity.
Temperature Resistance – The materials used in composite fillings barely expand and contract when they come into contact with hot and cold. This puts far less pressure on the surrounding tooth, drastically decreasing sensitivity.
Hardens in Seconds – Composite fillings are cured and set with a handheld blue light, which allows them to harden almost instantaneously.
How To Receive Composite Fillings
You’ll undergo a consultation with one of the Laus, where they’ll thoroughly examine your mouth, review your medical history, and discuss your smile goals with you. This will allow them to decide if composite fillings are a good option for you. They’ll be sure to inform you of all of your options before any procedures are agreed on.
Once you and Dr. Lau have decided that composite fillings are the right treatment for you, they’ll sit down with you to select a color shade and discuss the size and placement of your filling. Then, we’ll schedule you for your filling placement.
Before the procedure, we’ll numb your tooth using a local anesthetic to ensure you don’t feel any pain during your procedure. Once we’re sure the anesthetic is working properly, we’ll clean out any infected, decayed, or damaged tooth material to make room for the filling.
Composite Filling Placement
Once your tooth is prepared, Dr. Lau will apply your composite filling in layers, using a blue light to harden each layer as they go. Finally, they’ll shape and polish the filling so it blends in naturally with the surrounding tooth. You’ll leave our Northridge, CA office with your restored smile that same day.
Frequently Asked Questions
While composite fillings drastically reduce sensitivity, some mild sensitivity post-op is normal. Any pain or sensitivity you’re experiencing should go away within a few days. To manage your sensitivity in the meantime, Dr. Lau recommends the following:
- Take over-the-counter pain medication.
- Be gentle when brushing and flossing.
- Use a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth.
- Chew on the side of your mouth where there isn’t a filling.
- Avoid hot, cold, and acidic foods and drinks.
If you find your pain to be intolerable or it’s lasted for longer than a week, call our Northridge, CA office by dialing (818) 886-3500 as soon as possible. We’ll do our best to resolve any issues you may be having and ensure your treatment is as comfortable and effective as possible.
While a cracked tooth sometimes has no symptoms at all and can only be detected by a dental professional, here are a few telltale signs that damage has occurred:
- Sharp pain when biting down
- Frequent but fleeting tooth pain
- Discomfort when eating and drinking
- Sensitivity to temperature
- The feeling that something is caught in your teeth
If you experience any of the above symptoms, we encourage you to contact Mid-Valley Dental Care by dialing (818) 886-3500 as soon as possible so we can diagnose and treat any issues you may be having.
The symptoms of a cavity can vary depending on the location and severity. Common signs of a cavity include:
- A persistent toothache
- Tooth sensitivity
- Pain when eating hot, cold, or sweet food
- Pain when biting down
- Visible white, brown, or black discoloration
- Pits or holes in the teeth
A decayed tooth can typically be preserved with a dental filling if the decay has not become too extensive. If not enough tooth structure can be saved, our dentists may recommend a dental crown or the removal of the tooth.
Composite fillings can last up to ten years, but in order to get the most use out of them, you’ll need to practice proper dental hygiene and undergo regular dental exams at least twice a year. Following this advice will help your fillings and your natural teeth last as long as possible.
Composite Fillings Preserve & Restore Your Smile Without Metal
While metal fillings can be strong and long lasting, the damage they can do to your teeth and the discomfort they can cause often make them an unappealing option. Fortunately, composite fillings can offer a comfortable, seamless restoration and preserve your smile more effectively.
To learn more about how to restore your smile without metal, call Mid-Valley Dental Care at our Northridge, CA location by dialing (818) 886-3500 or fill out our contact form. With composite fillings, the doctors Lau can help give you a beautiful, long lasting smile and save your teeth from extraction.