Did you know that dental fillings are now the same color as your teeth? As with many areas of dentistry, advancements in technology have changed the standards. While many used to use mercury fillings, known as amalgam fillings, we now have the option to use a white filling matched to your teeth.
Not only does a white filling look better, the composite filling is a higher quality material with better results.
At Rockville Dental Arts, we prioritize using the best treatment methods with the highest standard of equipment to create a quality of care that makes a difference for our patients. This means procedures that feel and look better.
Below, we’ll address some of the most common questions we hear about cavities, tooth decay, and dental filling options, even for your front teeth.
What a Dental Filling Does
Have you ever had a cavity or a broken tooth? Tooth decay is a common problem. Most often, this happens when the teeth haven’t been kept clean enough or from eating and drinking foods high in sugar. Brushing at least twice daily and keeping a daily flossing routine can help keep this from happening. Eating a lot of sugary substances can also contribute to tooth decay.
Eventually, a cavity may occur. This is a soft structure in the tooth. It needs to be removed so it doesn’t continue to grow and destroy more of your tooth. This keeps the healthy part of the tooth safe so it doesn’t need to be removed completely. Getting a regular check up and cleaning gives your dentist the chance to watch for cavities so they never grow worse than they need to.
Broken teeth are common too. Teeth break from eating hard substances over time. It wasn’t the salad that broke your tooth, but all the thousands of chews prior that created micro cracks in the tooth. Broken tooth repair can be done with filling material or sometimes you will need a crown on the tooth. Read below to learn how to fix a broken tooth.
How Long Do Fillings Last?
Mercury fillings do last a long time, but most patients do want the silver fillings in their teeth anymore. That’s why we only use composite resin fillings or white fillings for teeth. These tooth colored fillings if done properly should last 10-20 years. However, teeth do crack and break under the huge biting pressures so if there are cracks in the tooth then you may be best served with a crown to prevent any root canal issues.
Do fillings hurt? When you are properly anesthetized then you will feel no pain when getting a filling done.
What Happens When You Need a White Filling For Your Tooth
Don’t worry. Removing the cavity can be done pain free in our Rockville Dental Arts office.
Once the cavity is removed, the space needs to be filled. This is essential for keeping the tooth healthy and hygienic.
There was a time when the standard for dental fillings was a metal filling. This not only created an undesirable look, as the fillings were silver, but the material eventually caused problems. Over time, the filling would expand and contract as it was exposed to temperature changes while eating and drinking. This would create a sensitivity. It would become difficult to enjoy foods like ice cream.
Today, we have composite fillings made of superior materials. The tooth colored filling molds to the natural shape of the tooth. We can match the material to your tooth shade so your filling appears natural, feels natural, and lasts long term.
Having a dental filling performed is important to your dental health and doesn’t take a lot of time. How long do fillings take? It really depends on the size and the issues with the tooth, but in general most fillings only take 10-20 minutes once you are properly numbed. You can have a white filling done in one appointment in less than one hour in total.
Maybe you have a broken tooth filling? If it’s an amalgam filling or silver filling they can break and crack letting bacteria and decay setting in. The metal also expands and contracts differently than the tooth causing cracks in the tooth or the filling material. Anyway if you have a broken tooth filling then you should get it replaced asap. Sometimes if the filling is large or there is significant decay underneath then it may even be time for a dental crown on the tooth.
What If I Need Bonding For the Front Tooth?
We understand how much more concerning problems with a front tooth can be. Your front teeth play a big role in your smile. If you have a broken front tooth or it has decay, a chip, or a crack, then your dentist may suggest bonding front tooth options to keep your smile looking great.
Similar to composite filling options for your back teeth, tooth bonding involves a composite resin matched to the shade of your natural teeth. The bonding procedure can be done in a single appointment. It’s pain free and is a strong option for completing your smile. And your broken front tooth will look good as new again. The best part is that most tooth bonding procedures don’t even require anesthesia!
Keep in mind that taking care of your bonding is similar to taking care for your natural teeth. It’s important to brush twice daily, floss daily, and have a regular appointment for a cleaning with your dentist.
While the composite resin is matched to your teeth and cared for in the same way, if you smoke or drink a lot of coffee there is a higher risk of discoloration on the bonding material over time. Taking good care of your teeth will lower this risk. Of course, if discoloration does eventually happen, our team will be ready to help you make adjustments to keep your smile looking great.
The broken front tooth repair cost can be fairly inexpensive. If tooth bonding is all that is needed then a few hundred dollars will cover it. However, if your broken front tooth is severe then a crown may be in order. Dental crowns for front teeth run between $1000 and $2000. Fairly reasonable for a broken tooth repair that will last you 20 or more years. And it’s your front tooth.
Do You Need Composite Fillings?
How long do composite fillings last? They should last 10-20 years.
Anything that may affect your smile can be a source of anxiety. At Rockville Dental Arts, we take our mission to keep our patients smiling very seriously. We want your dental experience to be comfortable and to make the process as easy for you as possible.
If you have concerns about a possible cavity, or already know you need to have tooth decay treated and receive composite fillings, you can call our dentist office any time where our team can answer your questions and help you through the process. Of if you are wondering how much does it cost to fix a chipped tooth.
Use our contact form or call us today to start the process toward better dental health!
To learn more about dental emergencies, read our blog: dental emergency overview.
WATCH THE FASTEST DENTAL FILLING EVER!