Tooth-Colored Fillings

Nine out of ten Americans have had at least one cavity in their lives, but more alarmingly, one in four currently has an actively growing cavity and has not been treated. The team at James Lin DMD wants to share that even if a cavity doesn't hurt at first, it will dig deeper into your tooth. As the approaches the nerve, you will likely experience a toothache. By then, the cavity may have grown to the point that a crown and or root canal may be your only treatment option.

One undesirable characteristic of traditional dental fillings is that they were made of a silver metallic amalgam. Though durable, these are also unsightly. Over time, a large silver filling can also act as a wedge in the tooth and cause the surrounding tooth structure to fracture eventually. In addition, the metal contrasts with your white teeth and shows through as you age, literally darkening your smile.

The good news is that Dr. James Lin prefers to use tooth-colored fillings. This composite resin material has strength, reflectiveness, and coloring agent characteristics to create a functional and cosmetic solution to match your natural teeth.

Why a Little Cavity Becomes a Big Issue

A cavity starts as a small hole in your tooth enamel which is your tooth's protective armor. This hole becomes deeper and wider such that eventually, you will feel pain. This is why routine exams and necessary x-rays are recommended to detect these cavities so they can be treated with smaller fillings.

Delaying treatment of your cavities has disadvantages. A tooth-colored filling is simple and effective, while more extensive care, such as a dental crown after root canal therapy, is more involved and expensive.

Signs of a growing cavity that you should watch out for include:

  • Hot or cold tooth sensitivity
  • Tooth pain isolated to a particular spot
  • Some tooth discoloration
  • Other visible signs such as a visible hole or blemish

We encourage you to contact us as soon as you can if you recognize any of these symptoms. Cavities can threaten your entire tooth, so we want to treat them immediately.

Advantages of Tooth-Colored Fillings

Dr. Lin and his team are extensively trained to deal with various dental cavities and their solutions. We select the appropriate materials depending on your cavity's location and severity. Our goal is to preserve your teeth even if you need more than one dental filling.

Here are some advantages of using composite fillings in Los Gatos:

  • Color – No more ugly silver fillings
  • Conservative – Composite materials bond better to your natural tooth and can be smaller without losing integrity. As a result, we can be precise when removing a cavity.
  • Longevity – Modern tooth-colored materials are stronger and more esthetic than ever before! They do not grey your teeth as metallic amalgam does.

How Is a Composite Filling Placed?

First, you will receive anesthesia to numb the area and make the procedure more comfortable. Then, Dr. Lin removes the decay and prepares a conservative area for the filling material. Next, a special bonding agent is applied to the clean surface of the tooth, and Dr. Lin places the composite resin inside.

The filling is sculpted to your tooth's shape and hardened with a bright blue curing light. Finally, we conclude by polishing your filling to a glassy smoothness. We provide instructions for you to follow after the procedure. With conscientious care, including proper hygiene and routine dental visits, you can expect your filling to last for many years.

Tooth-Colored Fillings Are an Ideal Way to Correct Cavities

At James Lin, DMD, we want to be your partner in maintaining and improving your oral health through preventative and restorative care, whichever is appropriate for you at any given time. For most people, there will be a time when a dental filling is needed. When that time comes, we are here to make that process as smooth and painless as possible. Don't hesitate to reach out if you feel the early signs of a dental cavity, and we will get it taken care of without delay.