The collective state of teeth in the United States is far from perfect if you consider that 90% of adults between the ages of 20 and 64 have tooth decay, and more than half of teens have at least one cavity in one of their permanent teeth.
Tooth decay is one of the main drivers of tooth loss, so treating tooth decay before it does irreparable damage is key. And the best way to do that is through fillings. Upping the ante with tooth-colored fillings goes a step further and checks almost every dentistry box — preventive, restorative, and cosmetic.
The experts at Peninsula Dental Excellence, Jeff Yoshihara, DDS, and Jessie Yu, DDS, are pros in administering tooth-colored fillings, which excel in form and function. Here they break down everything you need to know.
When you have tooth decay, it means that bacteria have gained access to your teeth and are eating away at the hard surfaces. The main results are dental caries, or cavities, which simply describe holes bacteria have left behind in their wake. And make no mistake, a small hole can become much bigger and even tooth-threatening if the decay isn’t halted in its tracks.
The best way to do that is to have us clean away the bacteria and fill in the hole so that we can protect the tooth against further damage. As preventive and restorative tools, fillings are unparalleled in their ability to put a stop to what is a progressive problem.
Plugging the hole discreetly
Historically, metal has been the go-to ingredient for fillings. Metal materials bond well with teeth, and they hold up well for chewing. The primary drawback of these fillings is that they stand out against the white enamel of your teeth.
If you’d prefer that your pearly whites remain, we can fill your cavities with tooth-colored fillings that blend perfectly with your tooth. Instead of metal, we use a composite resin that matches the coloring of your tooth and the reflective properties of enamel.
The composite resin holds up very well for both front and back teeth and has proven strong enough to withstand the rigors of chewing.
Of course, just like metal, these fillings may need replacing at some point far down the road, but you can rest assured that, until then, they’re doing a great job protecting your teeth against decay.
In the meantime, you take care of your tooth-colored fillings in the usual way — brush at least twice a day, floss once a day, and rinse after meals. We ask that you avoid chewing ice, hard candies, popcorn kernels, and the like. Just as these foods can crack your natural teeth, they aren’t any better for fillings.
If you’d like to tackle tooth decay with tooth-colored fillings, please contact our Mountain View, California, office to schedule an appointment.