Salem & Keizer, OR
Here at Oak Park Dental in Salem, OR we want all of our clients to have a great experience when they come in to our office. We believe that everyone deserves a smile that they can be proud of, but we also understand that everyone makes mistakes, which is why we offer tooth colored fillings. Tooth-colored, or composite fillings, have replaced the old amalgam fillings that everyone is familiar with. Amalgam fillings were large, unsightly, and metallic in color. A name suggests, tooth-colored fillings are the same color as your teeth, so no one knows you have had dental work done! We want all of our patients to understand how cavities form and how we deal with them.
How Cavities Form
Composite vs. Amalgam Fillings
When we refer to cavities, we are referring to an infection of the tooth. Teeth are made of pretty tough stuff; they have to be to last us a lifetime of chewing. The outer layer of a tooth is made up of an extremely hard substance called enamel. Even enamel can’t protect your teeth from the bacteria in your mouth that causes cavities, which is called plaque. Throughout the day plaque will build up on the surfaced of your mouth, feeding off of the foods that you eat. Your teeth depending on you to wash away plaque that builds up throughout the day with brushing and flossing
. If you don’t brush and floss, the plaque will be allowed to hang around on the surfaces of your teeth, and they will eventually eat away at your enamel, causing an infection in your tooth – a cavity.
Composite Dental Fillings
Composite dental fillings are a far superior filling material to their predecessor amalgam fillings for some reasons. Amalgam fillings are large and unsightly, being an unnatural color they stand out quite a bit. For amalgam fillings to be successful, they require a large portion of the tooth to be removed, which isn’t true of composite fillings. Composite fillings require us to remove only the infected sections of the tooth to be successful. Composite fillings are long-lasting, good-looking, and quite effective.
Composite dental fillings are made of a mixture, a composite, or glass, plastic, and a resin bonding agent. We mix these ingredients in our office before we apply them to your tooth. As we mix them, we take into account the color of your natural teeth, making it almost impossible for anyone to tell that you’ve had dental work done.
Composite Filling Placement Procedure
The placement procedure for composite fillings is a simple one that we have performed many times, it typically only requires one visit to our office to complete. We will numb the site using a local anesthetic to ensure that you feel no pain or discomfort. We will then use a special drill to remove the infected portion of your tooth. We will mix the composite filling compound to match the color of your tooth exactly and apply the mixture directly to your tooth. We will sculpt the compound to match the contours of your tooth and set it in place permanently using a special UV light.
If your tooth is sensitive for a week or more it is important to call our office at (971) 600-0211 so we can examine the tooth and determine if additional treatment is needed.