Cosmetic dentistry and restorative dentistry overlap. How can this be? Well, the tooth-colored filling is an excellent example of how smile aesthetics meet great oral health. Made of strong composite resin or porcelain, tooth-colored fillings meld both dental disciplines together in one great restoration. Your cosmetic dentist in Winter Park, FL, Dr. James Outlaw, recommends cosmetic fillings because of their ease of placement, strength and seamless beauty.
Do you need a filling?
You need a filling if your tooth has a cavity, or hole, in the hard outer layer called enamel. Oral bacteria caught in food residues between teeth and at the gum line cause this tooth decay as they secrete corrosive acids which penetrate enamel. Left untreated, cavities progress through inner tooth chambers.
Fortunately, your six-month check-ups at Outlaw Dental can detect decay at its earliest stages. Dr. Outlaw often sees decay on visual inspection of your teeth, but he also relies on digital X-ray imaging to uncover cavities in hidden areas of the mouth.
The filling procedure
Your cosmetic dentist in Winter Park, FL, prepares the tooth for a tooth-colored filling. When the tooth is ready, Dr. Outlaw uses a special etching liquid on the site. This mildly acidic solution helps the composite resin (glass plus acrylic) bond to the tooth enamel. He places the composite resin in layers and hardens each layer with a blue curing light. After he achieves the desired shape, he polishes the tooth to a natural-looking sheen.
Tooth-colored fillings which are made of porcelain take a different approach. These inlays or onlays are called partial crowns, and Dr. Outlaw places them in larger areas of decay or enamel breakdown. Oral impressions and detailed instructions tell the dental lab how to fabricate these restorations. Dr. Outlaw bonds them in place and cures the installation with a dental light.
The lifespan of cosmetic fillings
Expect several years from a white filling. Be sure to brush twice a day with a soft brush and fluoride toothpaste, and floss daily as the American Dental Association advises. See Dr. Outlaw twice a year. You'll receive a thorough hygienic cleaning to help prevent decay and gum disease, and your dentist will check on that filling to be sure all is well.
Don't wait to restore a cavity. Contact Outlaw Dental right away if you suspect you have a problem tooth, and enjoy the health benefits and natural appearance of a tooth-colored filling. Call our office for an appointment in Winter Park, FL, at (407) 671-6506.