The many advances in dental technology, techniques, and materials continue to provide an increasing number of new options for creating more attractive, natural looking smiles. The ever-growing popularity of cosmetic dentistry has spurred decades of research and development of materials that are more esthetically pleasing. The improvements in ceramic and composite compounds that mimic the properties of natural tooth enamel have resulted in dental filling materials that are virtually indiscernible from natural teeth.
Many patients request white fillings, also called composite fillings, so their teeth will look natural when they talk, smile, or laugh. The composite resin is tooth colored, so it restores the natural beauty of a tooth that has been damaged, decayed, or filled previously with unattractive amalgam. The white material blends faultlessly with tooth enamel, making it ideal for the restoration of the teeth that are visible in a smile.
An additional advantage to composite fillings is that less removal of healthy tooth structure is required because they are adhesively bonded in place. Conventional silver fillings are wedged into the prepared tooth, so the dentist must remove enough material to create a retentive feature in the cavity. Composite fillings are a much more conservative and attractive option than conventional amalgam. The advantages of white fillings effectively offset the additional expense and time required for the restorations, most patients feel that the additional time and cost is well worth it.
White fillings take longer to create because the tooth must be kept perfectly dry for the resin to bond properly, and then the restoration is created in layers. A thin layer of adhesive is applied to the prepared cavity, and then several layers of the composite resin are applied. Once the filling is built up properly, it is hardened with a curing light. The process can be completed in a single office visit.
In some cases, the damage or decay may be too extensive for a composite filling to be effective. Porcelain inlays and onlays provide the same conservative and esthetic benefits as composite fillings, and may be more appropriate for extensive damage. They may be recommended when the filling will be subjected to heavy bite pressure, as well.
Dr. Sameet Koppikar at Biltmore Dental Center offers both options for tooth restoration. If you want a beautiful, conservative way to address damaged teeth, call (602) 954-8200 and schedule an appointment today.