If you are concerned about tooth decay or tooth fillings that darken your teeth, then tooth-colored composite resins may be your filling of choice. Tooth decay and cracks lead to fillings. Tooth colored fillings, also called composite fillings, offer durable beauty that mimic the natural appearance of teeth. They can be in back teeth and in front teeth or more visible areas and can be placed in just one visit. Tooth-colored composite resins present several advantages over traditional silver, or amalgam fillings. Shades can be blended and mixed to match your natural teeth. That way only you and your dentist will know that you have tooth fillings. What is the difference between composite and amalgam fillings? Composite fillings do the same job as amalgam fillings. They are used to fill cavities in order to prevent further decay and restore proper shape and function to the tooth. Instead of metal alloys, however, composite fillings are typically made of porcelain or microscopic glass in an acrylic base. During the procedure, the decay is removed and the area is cleaned. The tooth must then be kept free of saliva as we apply an adhesive and then layers of the composite material. Once the cavity is filled, we use a special light to cure, or harden, the material into place. Due to multiple steps this procedure takes a little longer than amalgam restorations. It is true that amalgam fillings have traditionally been stronger than composite in terms of their ability to withstand chewing and biting pressure. Many dentists continue to use amalgam on back molars for this reason. However, as the science of dentistry advances, new and better materials and techniques have resulted in techniques and materials to justify their use in the back teeth. And don’t forget that regular checkups, cleanings and preventive treatments go a long way to a big smile! Together we can create a smile that reflects your lifestyle. Dr. Caffaratti also offers a full range of Cosmetic and Specialty Dentistry Services: • Teeth Whitening • Bonding • Porcelain Veneers • Dental Implants • Bone Grafts • Sinus Lifts • Oral Rehabilitation Contact our Greater Reno and Sparks, Nevada Dental Office of Dr. Caffaratti to schedule your consultation with our friendly and knowledgeable team of smile experts.