For many years, dentists relied on a material known as silver amalgam, a mix
of mercury and other metals, to fill cavities. While amalgam is quite strong,
it has some notable downsides, including the fact that its dark color can
interfere with a smile’s aesthetics. Today, most dentists have abandoned
amalgam altogether and use tooth-colored fillings instead. This treatment is
an ideal, aesthetically pleasing way to address most cases of mild to moderate
Why Choose Northborough Dental Associates for Tooth-Colored Fillings?
- Experienced, gentle dental team
- Natural-looking results
- Metal-free and mercury-free restorations
What Are Tooth-Colored Fillings?
Tooth-colored fillings are composed of a biocompatible composite resin. The
resin contains small bits of glass, plastic, and other materials that work
well with the human body. We can shade-match it to blend in seamlessly with
the color of a patient’s natural dentition. It looks so natural
that we often use it to enhance the appearance of teeth via a procedure
known as cosmetic dental bonding (also called direct bonding).
How Do Tooth-Colored Fillings Work?
The process for placing a tooth-colored filling is relatively comfortable
and quick. In fact, appointments for fillings usually take less than one
hour. Here is a basic overview of how the process works:
We take steps to promote patient comfort. In most cases, this means that
we numb the portion of the mouth where we will be working. However, if a
cavity is relatively shallow, local anesthesia is not always necessary.
Your dentist prepares the tooth by removing decayed tissue from within the
The resin is inserted, and a special curing light hardens it within just a
Your dentist adjusts the shape of the filling so it will not interfere
with your bite.
You will be able to eat and drink immediately after your appointment.
However, you may find it advantageous to avoid hot, cold, and sticky foods
for a few days because these may cause some mild discomfort.
Do I Need a Tooth-Colored Filling?
Some signs that you may need a tooth-colored filling include:
- A tooth is extra sensitive to hot and cold temperatures.
You notice a visible hole in a tooth, or you see that one of your old
fillings has fallen out.
Your floss or food always seems to get caught on a particular tooth.
You have old metal fillings that you wish to replace with something more
Benefits of Tooth-Colored Fillings
The natural appearance of tooth-colored fillings is one of their most
outstanding benefits. However, they offer some additional advantages as
They are free of all metals, including mercury (silver amalgam fillings
are about 50% mercury, which is known to be a toxic substance).
- They have the potential to last for several years.
They require less tooth preparation than traditional amalgam fillings
because they form a bond with the surrounding dentition.
They are less reactive to temperature changes, which can help to reduce
Would you like to learn more about our
restorative services, including tooth-colored fillings?
Contact Northborough Dental Associates