Composite, or tooth colored, fillings are used to fill cavities found on top or in between the teeth. Orchard Family Dentistry primarily uses tooth-colored fillings for patients that come to our dental office in Centennial, as we believe these are a better alternative than the traditional amalgam, or metal, fillings. These are some of the many general dentistry services we offer.
As most patients prefer the natural look and color of a tooth colored filling, you will find that the majority of dentists are using metal fillings less frequently. As with any material, it is normal to periodically have to replace your tooth colored fillings as they age.
Sometimes, a patient is sensitive to temperature or biting after a filling has been placed. This is a normal side effect and will resolve within 2-10 days. Additional steps can be taken to minimize any sensitivity including using a specialized desensitizer product.
Cavities are caused when the bacteria in the mouth create an acid that eats at the tooth surface. This acid is produced when eating most foods, but especially foods high in starches and sugars. Over time, the bacteria in the mouth will stick together to form a plaque film which is removed by brushing and flossing regularly. Once the plaque hardens and becomes calculus (or tartar), it must be manually taken office by a dental hygienist.
Cavities can be detected by using an x-ray or by looking clinically in the mouth. Some patients can see the dark color of a cavity and sometimes are sensitive to cold liquids or when eating sugar. If these symptoms are not normal to the patient, there is a chance they have a cavity.
It is best to not wait for a cavity to progress and get bigger. As the cavity gets bigger, the chance of needing a larger filling or losing a tooth increases with time. In addition, the cavity can spread to neighboring teeth. Therefore, it is recommended to have a cavity filled as soon as possible.
First, a patient gets anesthetized using both topical and injectable techniques to get the tooth numb. The cavity is then removed using a high and low speed drill. After disinfection of the tooth, a filling is placed and shaped to the size of the original tooth. Finally, the bite is adjusted and the filling is polished.