White Fillings in Winston-Salem

Tooth-Colored Fillings in Winston-Salem

You might take excellent care of your teeth and commit to routine dental visits and conscientious oral hygien and still get a cavity!

Sometimes, despite our best efforts, particles can slip between teeth where flossing and brushing can't reach. Whatever the reason a cavity occurs, there’s no reason to despair. Filling a cavity is typically a quick procedure, and correcting the problem as soon as possible is essential to protect the tooth from further damage. At the dental office of Jeffrey J. Tibbs, DDS, our goal is to support your goal of excellent oral health by offering affordable, conservative dental treatments.

In the past, getting a cavity filled resulted in a noticeably dark metal filling. Today, however, using advanced materials like tooth-colored composite fillings, we can create a durable repair to preserve the tooth and blend beautifully with your natural teeth. If you have a cavity or want to schedule an appointment, please call our Winston-Salem, NC dental office

What Are Tooth-Colored Fillings?

Tooth-colored fillings, or composite resin, are made from glass and resin particles. This blend of recreates the qualities of your tooth, specifically translucency and resistance to wear-and-tear. Tooth-colored composites can help strengthen and protect your teeth and have a wide variety of dental uses. There is a vast spectrum of shades to choose from to match your existing smile.

Why We Like Tooth-Colored Fillings

Until a few years ago, dentists had only two options for filling teeth.

One was unnatural looking white material, and the other was silver (amalgam) fillings. Over time, either filling would darken and be noticeable, creating an unattractive appearance.

Today, state-of-the-art dental materials allow us to create a seamless restoration that is indistinguishable from your natural teeth.

We choose tooth-colored composite fillings at our Winston-Salem dental office for several reasons:

Natural-Looking Appearance

The tooth-colored composite filling material is made of glass and resin particles, and the result is very similar in appearance to dental enamel. We can shade the filling to match your natural tooth shade perfectly.

When the process is complete, even you might not be able to detect where your tooth ends, and the filling begins! On the other hand, silver amalgam fillings create a dark spot in your bright smile. As they age, these fillings also tend to discolor, making your teeth appear darker.

Cosmetic Benefits

Tooth-colored fillings are shaded to match the rest of your smile, making them a popular choice for fixing dental cosmetic flaws, including:

  • Repairing chipped teeth
  • Filling in gaps and spaces between teeth
  • Restoring cracked teeth
  • Reshaping teeth

When placing a composite filling, we don’t need to remove a lot of existing structure since we bond the material directly to your tooth. This secure bond strengthens and restores the tooth. Amalgam fillings require us to remove a lot of your tooth structure to place the filling, and the material sits in this space, held in place by anchors created in the tooth.

Over the years, the amalgam breaks down and starts pulling away from your tooth, creating a space for bacteria to enter and cause further damage and decay to the tooth. If you think you might have a loose filling or want to have your existing ones checked, give our Winston-Salem dental office a visit.

What Is the Procedure Like?

We can usually complete a tooth-colored composite filling in one visit to our Winston-Salem, NC dental office. During your procedure, Dr. Tibbs will discuss your treatment with you beforehand to make sure you understand the process. We always start by numbing your tooth with a local anesthetic so you won't feel anything.

One reason we like using tooth-colored fillings is that we can remove fewer healthy parts of the tooth to hold the filling. Composite fillings can bond to the tooth in a way other dental restorations can’t. During the procedure, we carefully remove the tooth decay.

Next, Dr. Tibbs applies an etching agent to the tooth that creates a strong bond between it and the filling. Once it is in place, Dr. Tibbs uses a special curing light to harden and set it. The final step involves polishing and shaping your tooth-colored filling so that it blends seamlessly with your smile.

Eating and speaking should be comfortable after the procedure; however, some patients may experience sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures for up to a week. If after a week you are still experiencing sensitivity, please contact our Winston-Salem, NC dental office.

Many of our patients enjoy the natural-looking appearance of tooth-colored fillings, but they eventually need to be replaced. During your dental visits, Dr. Tibbs will check your fillings to ensure that they are not loose. Loose fillings can allow bacteria to get trapped inside and cause further decay. One of the reasons we promote regular dental checkups is to watch for tooth decay and to check on dental restorations already in place.

This way, we can fix small dental issues before they become complex oral problems.

We Can Replace Your Metal Fillings

Your fillings can last for many years, but sometimes they need to be replaced due to normal wear and tear. We can be pretty hard on our teeth when we chew hard food or grind our teeth; even the aging process can cause fillings to break down. If you need to replace your old metal fillings, we can use tooth-colored fillings to protect and strengthen the tooth.

Dental Bonding

Our tooth-colored composite filling can be used to improve the appearance of your smile and fix dental imperfections, such as:

  • Chipped teeth
  • Gaps between teeth
  • Unevenly shaped teeth

How to Prevent Tooth Decay

Cavities occur when bacteria in the mouth creates acid that eats through the tooth. Tooth decay can also happen when food particles become trapped between teeth and you don't remove them with brushing and flossing.

The biggest culprits of tooth decay are sugary foods and drinks. Sugar creates an acidic environment that leads to cavities by weakening the enamel. A good habit to practice is rinsing your mouth after eating a sugary snack to prevent acids from forming.

Some factors of tooth decay are:

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Plaque
  • Not drinking enough water
  • Sweet food and drinks
  • Medical issues

The best way to prevent tooth decay is to eat a healthy diet and practice good oral hygiene. Some of our recommendations include:

  • Brush twice daily for two minutes
  • Floss each day
  • Dental visits twice a month
  • Regular dental exams and x-rays
  • Avoid sugary foods and sodas
  • Use fluoridated toothpaste

Call Us to Learn More

Patients at our Winston-Salem, NC dental office prefer composite fillings because they like the natural look that they provide. Composite fillings also avoid any issues created by amalgam fillings.

We choose them because they are an excellent dental device we can use to improve your smile and protect your dental health. Are you curious about how tooth-colored fillings can protect your teeth and even improve the look of your smile? Please call the office of Jeffrey J. Tibbs, DDS, to schedule a dental appointment so we can evaluate your dental needs.