White Dental Fillings
Treating cavities in Carrollton, North Dallas, Plano, and Farmers Branch, TX.
Ideally, no one would get the cavities caused by tooth decay. But the reality is most of us end up with them from time to time. North Dallas dentist Dr. Hampton provides patients with white fillings, also known as composite fillings, to repair teeth that have been affected by decay, fractures or other similar conditions. White fillings look more natural than their metal alloy counterparts, so you can smile, laugh and chat with friends without worrying about what your teeth look like.
What Is a White, or Composite, Filling?
As the name suggests, Dr. Hampton uses a “filling” to fill the cavity, or void, that advanced decay can create in teeth. He can also use a filling to fill cracks or fractures in teeth. Fillings can be made with different dentistry materials, such as metal alloy. White fillings are made of composite resin; that is the reason that they are also referred to as “composite fillings.”
The main advantage of white fillings is an aesthetic one: Dr. Hampton can closely match the shade of the filling to the color of existing teeth, making them unnoticeable. A second advantage of a white filling is that Dr. Hampton does not have to remove as much of the healthy portion of the tooth (to hold the filling in place) as he does with other dental restoration options. This is because the material used in a white filling more easily bonds to the tooth than other materials do.
Dr. Hampton also offers further filling options that are aesthetically pleasing for use in more visible teeth, such as the front teeth. In addition, Dr. Hampton may be able to provide you with porcelain inlays and onlays, or composite inlays. He typically uses inlays and onlays to restore teeth that have mild to moderate decay or wear along the top surfaces. He can apply inlays and onlays to the chewing surfaces of back teeth if you are concerned about aesthetics in that area.
What to Expect During Treatment With Fillings
Treatment with white fillings typically requires just one visit to The Hamptons Family & Cosmetic Dentistry. Dr. Hampton first removes any tooth decay or the affected part of the tooth. He next thoroughly cleans the cavity before starting the filling process. To fill the tooth, Dr. Hampton first applies an adhesive to the cavity. He then applies several thin coatings of enamel-colored composite filling material. Once he has put the filling in place, he uses a special light to cure, or harden, the filling matter.
It is important to note that the process for a white filling may take a bit longer than procedures that use alternative types of fillings. This is because Dr. Hampton must keep the tooth completely isolated from saliva after he removes the decay.
You may notice that the treated tooth is more sensitive to temperature in the days or first week following treatment. This should subside with time, but let Dr. Hampton know if the sensitivity lasts for more than a week.
Things to Keep in Mind With White Fillings
Although white fillings look more like natural teeth than amalgam fillings do, Dr. Hampton may not be able to offer this option to patients who have a large amount of decay. He provides other cosmetic dentistry options for these patients including dental crowns.
White fillings may be slightly more expensive than other filling materials, but most individuals concur that the cost is worth the added benefit of a natural-looking restoration.
Similar to alternative types of fillings, you may have to replace a white filling periodically. If a filling starts to pull away from the tooth, bacteria can enter the space between the filling and tooth enamel. This can eventually cause decay if left untreated. For this reason, be sure to practice good oral hygiene and keep all routine dental exam and cleaning appointments, so Dr. Hampton can properly monitor the health of your teeth and fillings.
To learn more about white fillings or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Hampton, please contact The Hamptons Family & Cosmetic Dentistry by calling (972) 395-9292.