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Posts for tag: fillings

By Silverman & Associates
April 07, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: fillings  

It takes a lot of skill, experience, talent and artistry to create tooth restorations that look so natural that no one can tell them apart from the originals. To do so requires understanding of the normal anatomy of a tooth as well as of the interactions of light and color.

How the anatomy of a tooth determines color

The color that we perceive when looking at a tooth results from the combined appearance of the tooth’s center core (dentin layer) and its covering enamel. Going from the outside in, the enamel is made of tightly packed crystals of calcium, which cause it to be one of the hardest substances naturally produced by animals. The crystals are also responsible for a tooth’s brilliance and translucence. The dentin is more like bone, a porous living tissue composed of microscopic tubes, interspersed with more calcium crystals. In the very center of the tooth is a central chamber containing the pulp and nerves.

Each of these layers has its own physical and optical properties. Since the enamel is translucent and the dentin is more opaque, most of the tooth’s color comes from the dentin and is transmitted through the enamel layer. Factors that affect this transmission include the thickness and age of the enamel as well as external tooth whitening.

If the enamel is more translucent, more of the color of the dentin shows through. If it is more opaque, the enamel absorbs and reflects light so that less color is visible and the enamel looks brighter.

The language of color composition and reflected light

Color means the whole spectrum in the rainbow. The spectrum is made up of the three primary colors — red, blue, and green. When all are combined, they create white light.

Hue refers to the brightest forms of the colors. The color we perceive depends on the dominant wavelength of light that is reflected by an object.

Value refers to a color’s lightness or darkness. A brighter color has a higher value.

Chroma is the amount of identifiable hue in a color. An achromatic color (without hue) appears gray.

Saturation is a measure of a color’s intensity.

This terminology of color is used not only by dentists and dental technicians, but also by a wide range of artists. It implies expertise and understanding of how colors work, how they vary and change and affect one another.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment or to discuss your questions about bonding to repair chipped teeth. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor article, “Artistic Repair of Front Teeth with Composite Resin.”

Dental decay is a very common oral health problem that both children and adults experience. Basically, a cavity is a hole in your tooth fillingsenamel caused by the corrosive action of oral bacteria that thrive on plaque and tartar. Previously, dentists used only amalgam, or metal, filling material to repair a cavity, but now you and your family dentist in Bellmore and Bayside, NY have a great alternative: the tooth-colored filling. The dental team at Silverman & Associates University Dental Family Dentistry use natural-looking composite resin to restore decay and leave smiles strong and healthy.

Do you need a filling?

If you do, you may not know it. However, some patients experience a sharp pain when they bite down on a decaying tooth, or the tooth can be sensitive to heat, cold or sugary foods.

Fortunately, your family dentist in Bayside can see cavities by examining your teeth or with X-rays. Whatever the diagnostic tool, your family dentist will remove the decayed portions of your tooth and fill the remaining space with a strong and realistic material called composite resin.

How does composite resin work?

Most tooth-colored fillings are made from this innovative blend of glass and acrylic. Some larger fillings--called inlays and onlays-- may be created from dental grade porcelain.

To restore a cavity, your Bellmore and Bayside family dentist removes the decayed tooth enamel. When the dentist employs composite resin, they actually remove less healthy enamel than he would if he were restoring the tooth with amalgam. Amazingly, composite resin bonds right to the tooth, actually becoming part of it. Your dentist adds the composite to the prepared tooth layer by layer, hardening each one with a special curing light. This process makes the restoration exceptionally strong. Also, the dentist ensures the finished filling bites together properly with the teeth in the opposite arch.

Do tooth-colored fillings last?

Most studies show that with good at-home and in-office hygiene, tooth-colored fillings serve patients well most anywhere in the mouth, and these restorations last an average of seven to ten years or more. Plus, composite resin proves to be gentler on remaining tooth enamel because this synthetic material behaves much like real enamel. Its flexibility allows it to move with the physical forces of biting, chewing and clenching.

Also, while it is worth noting that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) deems old-style amalgam fillings safe, most dentists and their patients prefer the aesthetics and versatility of composite resin fillings. They can be placed anywhere in the mouth and are unnoticeable.

Do you have questions?

If you are concerned about the health of a tooth or have questions about what tooth-colored fillings could do for your smile, please contact a family dentist at Silverman & Associates University Dental Family Dentistry in Bellmore and Bayside, NY for an appointment. Call (718) 225-0515.