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Kenneth G. Wallis, DDS Family & Cosmetic Dentistry Location Santa Clara, CA

Tooth-Colored Fillings


Composite dental filling procedure at Kenneth G. Wallis, DDS Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
Cavities occur in your teeth as the result of tooth decay. Oral bacteria that live naturally in your mouth feed on lingering food particles. As they eat, they produce acids, which eat away at the enamel layer of your teeth. Over time, pits form in your teeth, where bacteria can hide. The cavity continues to grow, and can eventually work its way into the interior of the tooth. Bacteria can enter the tooth and lead to a painful infection. Fillings are a common treatment for dealing with cavities. At Kenneth G. Wallis DDS, Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we offer composite resin (tooth-colored) fillings.

An Alternative to Silver Fillings


Traditionally, cavities were filled with an amalgam material. Still used today, amalgam is made up of a mixture of tin, silver, copper, and nickel suspended in mercury. Amalgam fillings are well known for their exceptional strength, but they do have a few disadvantages. For one, they are silver in color, and therefore not aesthetically pleasing. Amalgam fillings contain trace amounts of metal, which can cause an allergic reaction in some. The mercury in amalgam fillings is a major concern for many dental patients as well.

Composite resin or tooth-colored, fillings offer an alternative. The material used is made up of fine glass in a resin. Not only does the material mimic the color of your natural teeth, but it also mimics many of the other properties of your teeth, such as the wear rate and translucency. Composite resin fillings are durable and able to withstand normal chewing forces.

How Are Composite Resin Fillings Placed?


Composite resin fillings can be placed in one of two ways. The first method, or direct method, is fairly similar to the way amalgam fillings are placed. First, the decay is cleared away from the tooth. We use a special drill to do this. The tooth is then cleaned and dried. We apply an acidic gel to the cavity, which creates a rough texture. This will help the composite resin to bond with the tooth. The tooth is cleaned and dried a second time. We then place the composite resin into the cavity and dry it with a blue light. Finally, the material is smoothed and polished.

The second way in which composite resin fillings can be placed is known as an indirect method. After the decay is cleared from your tooth, a mold is then taken. This mold is used to create a custom filling in a lab. When the filling is ready, we cement it in place.

Benefits and Drawbacks to Composite Resin


There are several benefits to composite resin fillings:
•  Aesthetics. They closely match the color of your natural teeth.
•  They bond with the tooth.
•  Bonding can restore up to 95 percent of the tooths original strength.
•  Less of the natural tooth structure is removed.
•  Composite resin hardens faster than other filling materials.
•  They can easily be replaced if damaged.

Along with these benefits, composite resin does have a few disadvantages as well:
•  Like your natural teeth, they are susceptible to staining, but they cannot be whitened.
•  They are not as strong as amalgam.
•  They cost more than amalgam fillings.

If you have a cavity, or even suspect a cavity, seeking dental treatment right away is important. Contact Kenneth G. Wallis DDS, Family, and Cosmetic Dentistry today at (408) 248-6777 to schedule your appointment!

Location
265 Crestview Drive
Santa Clara, CA 95050-6503

Hours
Monday-Thursday: 8am - 5pm

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Kenneth G. Wallis, DDS - Family & Cosmetic Dentistry | www.kennethgwallisdds.com | (408) 248-6777
265 Crestview Drive, Santa Clara, CA 95050
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