Tooth-Colored Composite Fillings in Spokane Valley

Metal fillings are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Tooth-colored composite fillings are free of mercury, and blend in with the natural enamel of the tooth. Every person has a unique shade of enamel, so Dr. Ryan R. Love uses an extensive matching process to find the color of composite material that leaves the tooth looking as if nothing had been done.

What Are Composite Fillings Used For?

Composite fillings are used to fill in areas of the tooth that have decayed. They are also used to repair broken or chipped teeth, or teeth that have significant wear and tear. Composite fillings can be placed on the front or the back teeth, although they may not last as long as other types of fillings on the back teeth where there is significant pressure from chewing.

Less Tooth Preparation Means Stronger Teeth

White composite fillings bond directly with tooth enamel. That means there is less tooth preparation needed, and more healthy enamel can remain on the tooth. Other types of fillings require additional enamel removal because of the way they are held in the teeth. With a composite restoration, patients know that the only part of the tooth prepared is the immediate area where decay exists.

The Placement Process

Prior to placing the composite filling, all of the decay must be removed from the tooth, and the tooth must be disinfected. After this has been accomplished, Dr. Love applies the composite filing material, which is made from plastic and ceramic compounds, to the tooth. He shapes the material and uses a special LED light to harden and bond it to the tooth enamel. Finally, Dr. Love makes any last-minute adjustments and polishes the tooth.

It is important that the tooth remain dry during this entire procedure, so Dr. Love may take his time when placing a composite filling. For this reason, composite fillings typically take a bit longer to place than metal fillings.

Using composite fillings for cosmetic purposes is a similar procedure. The material is applied to the tooth and used to repair small chips or cracks, or to fill in small gaps between the teeth. Composite filings can also be used to elongate a tooth or improve its shape so it blends in with the surrounding teeth.

How Long Do Fillings Last?

Composite fillings develop normal wear and tear over time. But when properly cared for, these fillings can last for many years. Teeth with fillings should be brushed and flossed daily and checked by a dentist every six months.

Replace Old Silver Fillings With White Composite Fillings

As older silver fillings age, they leak material into the tooth enamel. This creates a grey or bluish hue on the tooth, and is visible when people laugh, talk or smile. Thankfully, old fillings can be removed and replaced with tooth-colored composite fillings. Choosing to have this done can be for cosmetic reasons, but it is also a common restorative process as well.

Frequently Asked Questions About Tooth-Colored Fillings

What are tooth-colored fillings?

Fillings are used to restore teeth that have damage due to cavities or decay. There are many options in filling material, and tooth-colored fillings are becoming more popular because of the beauty of the final result.

What are the other benefits of tooth-colored fillings?

In addition to being virtually indistinguishable from natural tooth enamel, tooth-colored fillings allow Dr. Love to preserve more natural tooth structure, which is better for the long-term health and strength of the tooth. There is very little risk of an allergic reaction and no metal sensitivity with tooth-colored fillings.

How long does it take to place a tooth-colored composite filling?

A composite filling only requires a single appointment. The composite material is applied directly to the tooth and shaped on the spot, without requiring the work of an outside dental laboratory. This cuts down on the amount of time patients spend in the dental chair and enables them to enjoy their results sooner.  

Does it hurt to get a tooth-colored filling?

No. Special measures are taken to numb the mouth and prevent discomfort during the treatment. Dr. Love’s goal is to make every appointment as comfortable and relaxing as possible.

Will my teeth feel sensitive after my filling is placed?

After the filling has been placed, there may be sensitivity to heat or cold in the affected tooth. However, this sensitivity is temporary and usually subsides within a week. To minimize sensitivity and discomfort, patients should avoid eating foods that are very hot, very cold, hard or sticky. Chewing on the side of the mouth opposite to the filling can also help.

How strong are tooth-colored fillings?

Tooth-colored filling material is less durable than metal, so tooth-colored fillings aren’t typically recommended for the back teeth, which sustain the bulk of the force from chewing.

Are tooth-colored fillings noticeable?

The composite filling material is color-matched to the patient’s surrounding natural teeth.

How are tooth-colored fillings placed?

After the decayed portion of the tooth has been removed and the tooth has been disinfected, the filling material is placed directly into the cavity, where it hardens.

How much do tooth-colored fillings cost?

The cost of tooth-colored fillings depends on the number of fillings needed and the extent of treatment. Dr. Love and his team can provide more specific information over the phone or during an in-person consultation.

Does insurance cover tooth-colored fillings?

It depends on the insurance provider as well as other factors.

What are the best ways to prevent cavities?

Steps patients can take to prevent cavities include the following:

  • Brush after every meal and floss once a day.
  • Limit consumption of sugary foods and sticky or chewy candies.
  • Avoid fruit juices, sodas and other sugary drinks (including energy and sports drinks).
  • See Dr. Love every six months for exams so he is able to catch any decay in its early stages.
  • Consider getting sealants (plastic coverings) placed on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth to keep food from getting trapped in nooks and crannies.

Contact Dr. Ryan Love

For more information about how composite fillings can restore teeth that have been damaged by decay, or improve the appearance of a tooth, please call (509) 928-2525 or email our practice today.

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Dr. Love believes that the right dental technology can make treatment quicker, safer and more comfortable for his patients. He invests in high-tech systems and tools that help him to be more efficient and treatment outcomes more accurate.

The revolutionary CEREC system enables him to plan, create and place top-quality crowns and bridges in a single visit. Tools such as cone beam CT scans help Dr. Love to capture three-dimensional images of the teeth, soft tissues and bone of the jaw for more precise treatment planning. Systems like the Sirona guided implant system help Dr. Love carefully map out treatment for more predictable dental implant results. Thanks to these key pieces of technology, Dr. Love’s patients save considerable time, money and effort on dental treatment.

Best dentist ever. I can't say enough nice things about him. Everyone in the office is amazing.

Always friendly and they do amazing work!!!

Such a great place! They always take good care of us whenever we need them! Thanks for all the love Dr. Love!

Ryan has been my dentist for a number of years now… Love his professional manner, technical skills and ability, and great professional and friendly staff. If you're looking for a top flight dentist I would strongly recommend Ryan and his team!!