Fillings are an established and reliable treatment for cavities. In the past, however, fillings were made of metal, which could eventually affect the look of your smile. That is why Dr. Graham Forbes and his team at Capital Dental Design only use cosmetic restorations. Made of composite resin, these fillings are far more realistic than older amalgam restorations. They also offer important health benefits and can strengthen your teeth for many years to come. At our Richmond, VA, office we use conservative and gentle methods to perform all of our dental services. Accordingly, your treatment will involve very little discomfort, and it will preserve as much of your healthy tooth structure as possible.
Are Cosmetic Restorations Appropriate for You?
If you have developed a cavity, Dr. Forbes will typically recommend a composite filling. Cavities are the result of oral bacteria, which interact with starches in foods to form acids. The acid then erodes dental enamel, giving bacteria access to the deeper layers of tissue. Typically, a filling is enough to repair a small or medium-sized cavity. However, if you have a very large area of decay, you may need a crown.
We may also recommend a crown if you have an old metal filling. Sometimes, silver amalgam restorations can show through your teeth, giving them an unnatural gray tint. Old fillings can also become cracked or otherwise damaged. Dr. Forbes can safely remove a previous filling and replace it with composite.
Placing Cosmetic Restorations
Before placing your filling, Dr. Forbes will carefully remove any damaged tissue. This process will eliminate bacteria so that they do not spread to your nearby teeth. At the same time, by reshaping the inside of your tooth, your dentist can also create a stronger bond for the restoration. Then he will fill in the space with composite, using a shade that matches the color of your tooth. He will apply the composite layer by layer, hardening each one with a curing light. When the entire filling is in place, Dr. Forbes will trim the outer surface. Finally, he will polish your tooth so that the cosmetic restoration has a beautiful sparkle.
The Benefits of Cosmetic Restorations
We are proud to offer composite fillings because of the many advantages they offer over traditional metal fillings. Most noticeable, of course, is their lifelike appearance. Not only will they match your smile initially. Unlike metal, which can affect the color of your smile over time, composite will never show through your teeth.
At the same time, composite offers other functional benefits which are equally important, even if less well-known. First, the material is almost as durable as metal, and it often forms a stronger bond with dental tissue. Therefore, it can strengthen your teeth, restore your dental function, and prevent future damage. Second, with composite, your dentist can perform more conservative treatment. Typically, he will need to remove less dental tissue when prepping your tooth. Because more of your dental structure will be intact, you are less likely to suffer from cracks or other structural damage in the future. Furthermore, composite is a stable material. In contrast, metal will expand and contract when you consume very hot or very cold foods. Over the years, this process can weaken your teeth and lead to further health problems. Finally, composite does not pose any risks to your overall wellness. On the other hand, silver amalgam contains a significant percentage of mercury, an element proven to pose serious health risks.
Contact Our Office to Book an Appointment
If you have a current or past cavity, our cosmetic restorations can improve both your appearance and your long-term oral health. Contact our office online to book an appointment and find out if this type of restoration is right for you. You can also learn more about composite fillings and our other treatments when you call (804) 320-8894.