What are Tooth-Colored Fillings?

By Phillip S. Tully III DMD
April 04, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

Whether one of our Columbus, GA, family dentists, Dr. Phillip Tully III or Dr. W. Newton Sharp, has recently told you that you have a cavity fillingsor you are just curious to learn more about specific dental services we offer, you’ve come to the right place. Many people will deal with a cavity at some point during their lifetime and it’s always important to understand how a cavity is removed and the tooth is restored.

What is a tooth-colored filling?

Also referred to as a dental filling, this tooth-colored composite resin is used to fill a cavity and restore a tooth both in strength and appearance. The resin is moldable, making it easy for our Columbus dentist to shape and contour the resin over the cavity to completely fill it. While there are other kinds of dental fillings, a tooth-colored filling is the most common and popular option since it blends right in with the tooth. With a tooth-colored filling, no one will ever be able to tell that you have one.

How is a tooth-colored filling placed?

First and foremost, our Columbus dentist will need to remove the decayed portions of the tooth to prevent the decay from spreading. In order to do that, we will first administer local anesthesia to the gums around the tooth. This will ensure that the area is completely numb so you won’t feel any discomfort during the procedure.

Once your mouth is numb, we will use a dental drill to remove the decay. Once the decay has been removed it’s time to rebuild the tooth with your new filling. We will choose the shade of resin that will most closely match your tooth. From there, we will apply it in layers. As we mentioned, the resin is like putty, so we can shape, mold and trim it to blend right in with the rest of the tooth. Once a layer has been shaped we will harden it into place with a laser. We will continue to apply layer after layer until the tooth is completely rebuilt. Lastly, we will polish the tooth so that the resin offers a sheen that’s similar to natural tooth enamel.

How long do tooth-colored fillings last?

Composite resin fillings are pretty strong and resilient; however, they aren’t designed to last the rest of your life. Of course, maintaining good oral hygiene is one surefire way to guarantee that your filling lasts as long as possible. The average lifespan of a tooth-colored filling is about seven to 10 years (but they can last longer, too).

Do you have questions about the comprehensive dental services we offer in Columbus, GA? Do you need to schedule a consultation with Dr. Tully or Dr. Sharp? If so, then give us a call. We are here to help in any way we can.