Dr. Richard C. Ribeiro can place a white filling at our Clarksville, TN, office to restore the health and appearance of a tooth affected by decay. Tooth-colored fillings are also a great way to prevent further tooth decay, so long as you maintain good oral hygiene practices. Composite resin fillings are also strong and durable, and unlike metal fillings, they will not weaken the tooth over time.
How Does Tooth Decay Happen?
Our bodies contain both good and bad bacteria, and our mouths are no different. We use brushing, flossing, and mouthwash to get rid of the bad bacteria. Unfortunately, sometimes we neglect our oral hygiene, or we miss certain spots. Bacteria feeds off the foods we eat, especially those high in sugar, forming acids that erode our tooth enamel. As the enamel erodes, the bacteria invade the underlying layers of the teeth, creating a cavity.
What Are Dental Fillings?
Dental fillings are restorations used to repair a tooth weakened by decay. Simply put, they fill the tooth after decay is removed. Dental fillings have come in a variety of different materials over the years. Silver amalgam, or metal, fillings were—and still are—popular. However, silver amalgam has been shown to damage the teeth over time due to how it reacts to temperature changes. Plus, these fillings are not aesthetically pleasing.
Most dentists and patients today prefer tooth-colored fillings. Composite resin is a customizable material that Dr. Ribeiro can match to the rest of the tooth. This makes them unnoticeable so patients can enjoy both a stronger and more beautiful smile.
How Are Tooth-Colored Fillings Created and Placed?
Dr. Ribeiro will first administer a local anesthetic to numb the tooth and ensure that you remain comfortable throughout your procedure. Once you are numb, he will begin by removing the decay from your tooth. He will then disinfect the tooth.
Using a shade guide, he will mix together the composite resin to create a shade that closely matches the rest of your tooth. When he has achieved the desired shade, he will fill your tooth with the composite resin. Then, using a UV light, he will harden the material. He can make minor adjustments, such as filing the filling down so it fits comfortably in your bite.
The entire process can take up to an hour or more to complete, depending on the number of fillings needed. It can take a few hours for the numbness to wear off afterward. Dr. Ribeiro’s use of advanced technology makes the filling process safe, simple, and effective.
How Should I Care for My Dental Fillings?
With proper care, tooth-colored fillings can last a decade or more. Make sure you brush your teeth twice daily and floss at least once daily. Getting regular checkups and cleanings at Clarksville Smiles will keep your teeth free from decay. Try to limit your consumption of foods and drinks high in sugar, as these can lead to more cavities.