You might be curious about how metal-free fillings are different than traditional fillings. Your dentist may suggest a metal-free filling instead of one with metal for many reasons. Or you might prefer the look of a metal-free filling. There are many reasons, and knowing more about metal-free fillings can help you decide which is right…
Can Metal-Free Fillings Be Used on Front Teeth?
If you have a cavity on your front teeth, you are likely interested in metal-free fillings. You want something that matches your natural teeth, so no one knows you have a dental filling. You are unsure if these fillings can be used for front teeth, though. Get the details so that you will know how to proceed with your dental restoration.
Overview of metal-free fillings for front teeth
Metal-free fillings are made of composite resin. The material is created to match the patient’s existing teeth. These fillings can be used for front and back teeth and blend in, so it is not obvious that the teeth have been filled.
How the front tooth is filled
Composite resin fillings take a bit longer to place when compared to silver amalgam or gold fillings. First, dentists isolate the tooth from the saliva in the mouth. Then, dentists use a drill or laser to remove the decay. When dentists place metal fillings, they must remove a large portion of the tooth’s structure, so it can adequately hold the filling. However, the malleable composite resin material allows dentists to remove a much smaller portion of the tooth.
Dentists apply composite resin fillings in layers. A special light is used to harden each layer after placement and then the next layer is added. This process continues until the filling is complete. After the hole in the tooth is filled, dentists sculpt it so that it looks like a natural tooth. It also looks like a natural tooth due to the color. Dentists match the color of the composite resin to the existing teeth so that it blends in.
The process takes around 20 minutes. However, it could take less or more time, depending on the severity of the decay.
What to expect after composite resin fillings
When people get metal fillings, it is critical to wait for the material to harden before eating or drinking. This can take several hours. However, metal-free fillings harden quickly. Patients can eat and drink after leaving the office, although it is important to be careful until the numbing wears off.
People with composite resin fillings are also less likely to experience tooth sensitivity. Metal fillings can be sensitive to sweet foods, air and temperature changes. The sensitivity typically goes away after a day or two, but others experience it for the lifetime of the filling. Composite resin fillings are also easier to care for when compared to metal fillings. The composite material bonds to the tooth, making brushing and flossing easier. This also strengthens the natural tooth.
Do you want a non-metal filling for your front tooth?
If you have a cavity on your front tooth, a composite resin filling might be the right choice. The material looks like the natural tooth and bonds to it, providing strength. You do not have to wait for the material to harden after you leave the office, and you are less likely to experience tooth sensitivity. Talk to your dentist to learn more about this restoration option.
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