Tooth Colored Fillings

Dental decay is localized mineral loss due to the acid produced by certain oral bacteria as they feed on the carbohydrates we eat. Although saliva replenishes some tooth minerals between meals, a diet high in carbohydrates can lead to a low pH that encourages plaque. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria, saliva and food debris that builds up on teeth between professional dental cleanings. Daily brushing and flossing slow down the develop of plaque but do not stop it entirely. That’s why professional prophylactic cleaning (at least every six months) is recommended by dentists, and for many patients more frequent cleanings are needed to keep dental decay and gum disease at bay.

Unless dental decay is treated, it advances. When this dental caries (dental decay) reaches the pulp of a tooth, the infection becomes quite painful. Many times, cavities go undiagnosed until patients experience a toothache, dental sensitivity, or striking discoloration. It is important to have regular dental checkups to find decay before it does significant damage and become painful.

When placing a filling, Dr. Vulugundam will clean your tooth to eliminate harmful bacteria and stop its spread to your other teeth and nearby gum tissue. A composite resin filling will be placed in the cavity to replace damaged dental material and strengthen the structure of your tooth. Dental composite comes in many shades and will be matched to the color of the tooth being repaired so the repair is seamless in appearance. When you smile and laugh, no one will know you have had a filling! Composite resin bonds with the tooth more strongly than metal, and does not expand or contract with hot and cold foods and beverages. Therefore, it can preserve your tooth and not cause damage to it—lasting a very long time.

Some patients prefer porcelain or gold for their filling. Our dentists will be happy to discuss these options with you. Porcelain fillings (called inlays or onlays) are created in a lab and then bonded to the tooth. Like less expensive composite, they can be color-matched to the the tooth. The cosmetic advantage is that they have the reflectivity and translucence of natural tooth enamel, and they resist staining. Because they are more expensive than composite (costing about the same as gold fillings), they are usually not recommended unless the restoration is going to cover a large part of the tooth and the aesthetic aspects of porcelain are desired. Gold fillings (gold inlays or onlays) are the most expensive and typically used only in the back teeth where they are not visible when you smile. Gold fillings are long lasting and well tolerated by gum tissue. They are the most expensive.

Both porcelain and gold fillings are made in our partnering dental lab. Your tooth will be prepped, impressions made, and a temporary filling placed while the inlay or onlay is custom made at the lab. At your second appointment, the temporary filling will be removed, the cavity cleaned, and the porcelain or gold restoration will be bonded to the tooth.

Every time a filling is placed in our office, our dentists will take the time to carefully make sure the aesthetics and fit are optimal. Your occlusion (how your upper and lower teeth come together at rest and when you bite and chew) will be examined to make sure the filling facilitates harmonious function.

Do you have a painful tooth or see signs of dental decay?

Give us a call today. Orange Grove Dental in New Port Richey will provide the fine dentistry you deserve! Let us examine your mouth and put you on the road to optimal oral health.
Our office is conveniently located at the corner of Rowan Road and State Road 54.