The Benefits of Tooth-Colored Fillings

How Everyone Can Benefit from Tooth-Colored Fillings

It is common for a person’s tooth to become infected with bacteria. When this happens, a cavity will develop. The bacteria may begin on the enamel surface of a tooth but then spread to the dentin beneath the tooth’s surface. It is possible for the decay on a tooth to become large enough that it causes a person discomfort as well as significant pain. When a tooth has a cavity, the treatment will consist of having it cleaned, and then a restorative material applied to seal it. In the past silver amalgam was a popular type of tooth sealant used by dentists. It is now common for a Nassau County dentist to provide their patients with tooth colored filling for many different reasons.


There are different ways to repair a tooth using restorative materials. With direct fillings, a small amount of the material will be placed in the cavity. The tooth-colored filling material will be applied in layers and set with an LED light. The repair will be completed by the time a patient leaves the dentist’s office. A semi-direct filling is for repairing a larger damaged area of a tooth. Layers of filling material are also used. Once this restoration is set, it’s immediately bonded to a patient’s tooth.

Short Wait Time

When a dentist uses silver amalgam as a tooth sealant material, a patient is advised to not eat anything for up to an hour. The reason for this is the silver amalgam material needs time to set. When a dentist uses tooth-colored filling as a sealant material, it is put directly on the spot of a tooth where it is needed. Once this is done, an LED light can be used to cure the material so it hardens almost immediately. This means a patient won’t have to wait to eat once their tooth is treated.

Aesthetically Appealing

An obvious part of having silver amalgam fillings is having a tooth filling that is easily noticed when a person opens their mouth. Their silver or dark gray color of the material can make the fillings appear dark when it’s next to the natural structure of a tooth. These types of fillings have made many people self-conscious when they talk, smile, laugh and more. When a patient has tooth-colored fillings, their teeth appear to be cavity free. Many people have confidence knowing their teeth will appear to be free of metal.

Not Temperature Sensitive

Metals such as the silver amalgam fillings respond to heat or cold. This makes a person’s tooth sensitive to temperature when they have these types of filling material in their mouth. The tooth-colored filling material used by dentists is plastic in nature. It will not make a person’s tooth sensitive to heat or cold.


When people properly care for their teeth and gums, their tooth-colored fillings could last a decade or longer. This care will require a person to brush their teeth at least two times a day as well as regularly floss. It will also involve regular teeth cleanings as well as dental exams at least twice a year.

Improved Safety

Patients with silver amalgam material in their teeth can experience it expanding and contracting based on fluctuations in temperature. The regular expansion and contraction of the silver amalgam material can put pressure on a person’s teeth. It can lead to a tooth cracking and even breaking. The tooth-colored filling material does not expand or contract. This makes tooth-colored filling material safer for teeth.

Stain Free

The silver amalgam filling is a strong material, but it will corrode. When corrosion begins, it may stain a person’s gums and can make their teeth black. Should a patient replace their silver amalgam filling with tooth-colored filling, the tinge of black from the silver amalgam material may still be visible on the tooth. This tinge of black can even remain on the gums that surround the tooth. Tooth-colored fillings do not corrode and won’t stain a person’s teeth.


A certain amount of mercury is contained in silver amalgam filling material. The use of this type of material does pose a risk for a person to experience mercury poisoning. Silver amalgam filling material is condensed as much as possible before being packed into a tooth. This is to remove as much mercury as possible from it. There is still no way to guarantee the removal of all harmful mercury prior to it being placed in a tooth. There is no mercury contained in tooth-colored filling material.

Healthy Tooth Structure - Clock Tower Dental

Front Teeth

It is possible for people to get a cavity in their front teeth. Tooth-colored filling material comes in many different shades. It is possible to match the color of this filling material with the color of a person’s natural tooth. The restoration on the facial surface of a person’s front teeth can be done so it will not reveal they have a cavity that has been treated.

More Healthy Tooth Structure

The goal of treating a cavity is to create a good structural bond between the filling material and a tooth. This may require a dentist to make undercuts designed to help hold the filling material in place. During this procedure, some healthy tooth material must be removed. When this is done, it’s possible to make a tooth structurally weaker and cause it to be more vulnerable to cracking. When tooth-colored filling material is used less of a tooth will need to be removed. This is because the tooth-colored filling material is able to more effectively bond to a person’s teeth than silver amalgam. It results in more of a tooth’s structure being left in place. A tooth will then be stronger than if it was treated using silver amalgam filling material.

Easy Filling Replacement

It is possible for people to easily replace their silver amalgam old fillings with tooth-colored filling material. When this is done, it can improve the strength as well as the appearance of their teeth.

Customized Shading

Not everybody’s teeth have the same color. Patients who get tooth-colored filling material can have a color customized to meet the specific shade of their teeth. Tooth-colored filling material can be made to match the color of teeth around a tooth being treated for a cavity. This an effective method of treating a cavity so it will not be noticed by others.

Nobody enjoys hearing the news they have a cavity. Not treating it as soon as possible could lead to a variety of serious dental issues in the future. Patients are now able to have their cavities treated using tooth-colored filling material. It provides a number of important benefits as well as an effective option for treating tooth decay. A Long Island dentist can fully explain a patient’s options and help them choose the right treatment for their situation.

Posted in: General Dentistry

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