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What Are Tooth-Colored Fillings?

Tooth-colored fillings are made to match the color of your teeth. Compared to metal or composite fillings, tooth-colored fillings are nearly invisible and are made to preserve the natural appearance of your teeth. Let’s look at tooth-colored fillings, how they compare with composite fillings, and how often they need replacement by a dental professional.

What Are Tooth-Colored Fillings Made from?

Tooth-colored fillings use composite resin, a mix of glass and quartz, to repair holes in your teeth. However, compared to metal fillings, tooth-colored fillings are slightly less durable, meaning they may not be a good fit for high-impact teeth.

Traditional metal fillings are made from mercury, silver, tin, or copper and have a silver appearance. Meanwhile, gold fillings are relatively common and can be more expensive than silver or tooth-colored fillings.

How Long do Tooth-Colored Fillings Last?

Tooth-colored fillings can last up to 15 years, depending on the material used. For example, ceramic fillings last about as long as amalgam fillings, while resin fillings may need replacing after seven years or less. How often your fillings will need replacement depends on several factors, including the size of the filling, the wear and tear of the tooth, and dental health factors like sticky or hard foods.

Thankfully, replacing a dental filling is inexpensive and can be done in a single visit to your dentist. However, if you lose a filling, contact your dentist as soon as possible, as you can expose your tooth to bacteria and potential decay or infection.

Contact your dental team if you feel pain at the site of an old filling or notice any looseness. You may have additional decay or potential infection. Thankfully, your dentist can analyze the filling and replace it if needed.

What Are the Benefits of Tooth-Colored Fillings?

Because tooth-colored fillings can bond directly with your teeth, your dentist does not need to remove as much of your tooth and can apply the filling in only one visit. Tooth-colored fillings appear more natural than metal fillings and can preserve dental stability. Tooth-colored fillings may be more cost-effective than gold fillings, although they can be more expensive than silver metal fillings depending on the size of the filling and external factors.

Additionally, since tooth-colored fillings can adhere directly to your teeth, should you need a replacement later or decide to go with a metal filling, it can be relatively easy to replace the filling without further compromising your teeth.

Are Tooth-Colored Fillings Painful?

Tooth-colored fillings are not painful. When your dentist preps your teeth to remove decay and install a filling, they use a topical anesthetic and other numbing agents to ensure minimal discomfort. While the filling site may be tender or sensitive to hot and cold once completed, you should not feel ongoing pain or discomfort. If your filling causes pain, contact your dental team immediately, as this may be a sign of an infection.

If you're interested in learning more about tooth-colored fillings or would like to schedule an appointment, call Blue Stone Hills Dentistry at (540) 433-3625. Our team of dental professionals can answer any questions you may have and help you schedule an appointment today.


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