Tooth Colored Restorations

Towson, MD Dentist

A composite (tooth colored) restoration (filling) is used to repair a tooth that is affected by decay, cracks, fractures, etc. The decayed or affected portion of the tooth will be removed and then filled with a composite resin restoration.

The office of Ousborne and Keller is a mercury-free practice. However, many people still have silver/mercury fillings in their mouth from years past. These fillings are not particularly pleasing to the eye, and we know that by unavoidable design, silver/mercury fillings ultimately result in a weaker tooth structure. Silver fillings have many drawbacks. The edges of the silver filling can wear down, as well as become weak and break. They also can leak. This results in the tooth not being protected and creates an environment where cavities begin again. With age, the metal of a silver filling expands, and can even occasionally split the tooth. With amalgam fillings it is not uncommon for ‘ditching’ to occur around the alloy and the tooth structure. This ‘ditching’ effect creates a gap or open space for bacteria to thrive. It also creates a food trap, which can expedite decay. Silver fillings contain approximately 45-70 percent mercury. They can corrode, leak, and cause stains on your teeth and gums.

In keeping with our ethical standards, Drs. Ousborne and Keller will not typically recommend the replacement of silver fillings, unless deterioration is present or the patient requests replacement.

There are many advantages to composite restorations Composite fillings are tooth colored and can be closely matched to the color of existing teeth. They are more aesthetically pleasing because of their natural appearance and are ideally suited for use in all areas of the mouth. They are bonded to the teeth creating a tight, superior fit to the natural tooth. Such restorations can be used in instances where much of the tooth structure has been lost. With composite fillings , more of the natural tooth structure remains intact, making the overall tooth much stronger.

Since some resins used in tooth-colored restorations contain fluoride, future decay can be minimized. The resin wears like natural teeth and, due to the properties of “bonding”, the restoration can be more conservative of natural tooth structure than amalgam, which is healthier for your gums! They are very durable and will last many years, giving you a long lasting, beautiful smile. However, composite restorations are not permanent and may someday require replacement.

The Procedure

Composite fillings are usually placed in one appointment. While the tooth is numb, we will remove decay as necessary. The space will then be thoroughly cleaned and carefully prepared before the new filling is placed. If the decay was near the nerve of the tooth, a special medication will be applied for added protection. The composite filling will then be precisely placed, shaped, and polished, restoring your tooth to its original shape and function.

It is normal to experience sensitivity to hot and cold when composite fillings are first placed, however this will subside shortly after your tooth acclimates to the new filling.

Drs. Ousborne and Keller will provide you with postoperative instructions at the conclusion of your treatment. Good oral hygiene practices, eating habits, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new fillings. Porcelain and tooth-colored restorations create fillings that are not only beautiful (or unnoticeable), but also add strength to weakened teeth. These restorations are aesthetically pleasing and very strong, thanks to new bonding technologies used by Drs. Ousborne and Keller.

Key Benefits

  • Restores chipped, cracked and broken teeth
  • Closes spaces or gaps
  • Repairs decayed or worn teeth
  • More aesthetically pleasing than traditional amalgam (silver) fillings