Tooth-colored restorations allow a tooth to be filled with a strong chemically bonded material that can be matched to the color of your tooth, making the filling appear nearly invisible. These natural white-colored bonded fillings are as strong as, or stronger than a silver filling, depending on the location.
Tooth-colored restorations replace unsightly silver dental amalgam. The composite resins used in today’s tooth-colored restorations are durable, color-stabile, have superior material-handling qualities, and are esthetically similar to natural tooth color.
Tooth-colored restorations are actually bonded to remaining tooth structure, as compared to silver/amalgam restorations, which are “locked” into tooth cavity structure. This property of resin bonding allows for the removal of less tooth structure so teeth remain stronger and are therefore more conservative than silver fillings.
Major benefits of tooth-colored restorations
- Beautiful in appearance
- Completed in a single visit
- No filling leaks
- Less chance of tooth cracking
Tooth-colored filling material comes in a great number of shades and is matched to your individual tooth color. The materials used for front teeth have a high shine, whereas the materials for back teeth are designed for strength. Tooth-colored restorations look natural and can be virtually undetectable.
A small tooth-colored filling could last a lifetime. Larger such fillings can be expected to last many years. The factors that determine the life span of a particular tooth-colored filling include: the biting force on the filling, the size of the filling relative to the tooth (smaller fillings will usually be more durable than larger fillings), and how teeth are cleaned and maintained.
A new filling should feel natural, like your own teeth. After the anesthesia has worn off and you can feel your teeth and bite again, you should not notice anything particularly different. It should be smooth and comfortable.