Natural Tooth Colored Fillings

  • What is it made of
    • Modern filling materials are rarely made of metal for a lot of good reasons. Currently, they are made from what is called composite, which is a type of plastic. They are safe for all ages and can be placed in scenarios where metal fillings would simply fall out or look very unnatural.
  • How long do they last
    • Composite (tooth colored) fillings can last a very significant amount of time, but this depends on the tooth staying healthy. If the filling loses its foundation, typically from a new decay spot forming or night-time grinding, the filling will need replacement prematurely. Without this happening, fillings can typically last as long as the tooth they’re protecting.
  • How long does it take
    • Tooth colored fillings can take anywhere from 5-30 minutes per site to be placed, after the teeth are asleep (numbed). There are times when numbing can be avoided, but typically it is the best way to make sure the tooth is thoroughly clean, which is important to the longevity of the work. Some scenarios may need more time if the problem spot is very deep or in a highly esthetic area.
  • When is a filling better than a crown
    • Fillings are usually the right way to fix a tooth until they make up more than 50% of the tooth above the gum line. After this point, it starts becoming a reasonable idea to protect a tooth differently, often with a crown to surround and protect the remaining tooth that is now becoming more fragile. Teeth can often be filled multiple times if needed before a crown is necessary. However, if a small problem is left unfixed, it will slowly grow until it becomes a major problem.
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