Tooth-Colored Fillings Questions

Northern Virginia including Tysons Corner, Fairfax, Reston, Alexandria, Arlington and surrounding areas

What is a tooth-colored filling made from?

It uses the same substance used in dental bonding. It’s known as both tooth bonding and dental composite, and the tooth-colored fillings are also known as white fillings. Dental bonding is white like tooth enamel and Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Chung applies it directly to the tooth.

What makes tooth-colored fillings better than metal fillings?

First, their white color which blends in nicely with the natural enamel. But there’s more than that.

White fillings are bonded to the tooth. That means that they exert an inward pull on the tooth’s outside edges, holding the tooth together strongly. That preserves and protects the tooth. In contrast, metal fillings are not bonded – they are packed tightly into the cavity and must be held there by the shape of the cavity. That means that more tooth tissue must be drilled away. It also means that the metal filling exerts an outward pressure on the tooth’s outside edges. This slowly weakens the tooth and can eventually crack it.

Are there other advantages to white fillings?

Yes. There are two other big advantages.

  1. White composite (dental bonding) does not expand and contract with heat and cold, as metal does. Metal amalgam, by continually expanding and contracting with each hot or cold substance placed in the mouth, gradually weakens the tooth until it cracks or fractures and the filling falls out.
  2. Tooth-colored fillings contain no mercury. Metal amalgam is made of about 50% mercury, which is known to be a highly poisonous substance. Some countries have banned it altogether. The mercury in metal fillings gives off a vapor which is continually breathed in. There is much discussion about the extent of the health hazard posed by this vapor and so far research has not definitively established its level of harm. However, we prefer not to subject our patients to any potential harm at all, and we offer only white fillings and porcelain fillings (inlays and onlays).

Can I get my old metal fillings replaced by tooth-colored fillings?

Yes, absolutely. Dr. Chung and his team will be glad to do this for you, as it will brighten your smile enormously. Without those patches of dark gray, you’ll have a younger and fresher look.

How are tooth-colored fillings done?

Dr. Chung applies the bonding material directly to your tooth, filling the cavity incrementally until the tooth surface is smooth. When your bite feels comfortable and Dr. Chung is satisfied the filling is not interfering with your upper and lower teeth meeting, he will harden it with a special curing light. This takes only a few seconds and you won’t feel it.

Please call us or send our cosmetic dentistry an email if you would like to schedule a consultation. We will be glad to answer your questions and show you around our inviting facility. We serve Oakton, Vienna, McLean, Great Falls, Tyson’s Corner, Reston, Alexandria, Arlington, Herndon, Fairfax, Falls Church, Chantilly, Centreville, Alexandria, Arlington and the Northern Virginia area.

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