How can you repair damaged teeth? Gold and silver (amalgam) fillings have been the traditional method for dental repair for many years, but they’ve started falling out of favor. Both gold and silver are highly noticeable and tend to cause problems such as allergic reactions, dental sensitivity, and staining.
That’s why Dr. Markogiannakis offers tooth-colored fillings to patients who require dental repair. Even if you currently have metal fillings, your Chevy Chase dentist can replace them with these natural-looking alternatives. Keep reading to learn more about beautiful tooth-colored fillings and the many benefits they can have for your smile.
"I’ve been seeing Dr. Marko and her amazing team for 3 years now. I did my research when it came time to finding a new dentist after moving to DC, growing up in a dentist office caused me to have high standards. (And come on who actually enjoys the dentist?!) Well they blew all my expectations out of the park. They’re professional, thorough, informative, caring and very friendly. They always take the time to go above and beyond- even when I gave them the hardest time about finding the right material for my night-guard. Everyone (except me) had patience and reassurance through the whole process. They make every appointment a pleasant experience!"- A.M. / Google / May 28, 2020
"Everyone was pleasant and took all precautions during this time."- J.A. / Google / May 19, 2020
"De. Marko and her team were amazing at my appointment. All necessary safety precautions were in place. I felt well cared for and appreciate the exceptionally thorough consultation. ."- L.S. / Google / May 19, 2020
"Dr Marko worked on restoring my 3 front teeth. They were very weak and decayed. I could not bite into anything major for awhile. I was scared my teeth would tear. I am amazed how beautiful and strong my teeth are today. Really amazing !!! Thank you Dr. Marko for your skill set, diligence and patience with me. My smile is back and even better !!! Thank you for all your hard work ! 💪 Demitra"- D.M. / Google / May 09, 2020
"I love this dentist! Best experience I have evee, I’ve been going for 3 years and my kids love it there too. Professional, always on time and everyone is so pleasant to deal with. They really deserve this 5 star review. No hesitation at all in recommending!"- L.H. / Google / Mar 05, 2020
What Are Tooth-Colored Fillings?
Tooth-colored fillings, also called white fillings, composite fillings, and mercury-free fillings, are dental restorations that use composite material as opposed to metal. Composite materials used in tooth-colored fillings usually include resin mixed with high-quality quartz, ceramic, or silica. Just like metal fillings, tooth-colored fillings are used to repair dental damage such as:
- Worn down enamel
However tooth-colored fillings avoid the drawbacks of metal fillings, offering benefits that have made them the preferred type of filling for many patients.
Benefits Of Tooth-Colored Fillings
- Natural Appearance – Much like the name implies, tooth-colored fillings are customized to blend with your natural teeth.
- Insulated Against Shock – Galvanic shock occurs when metal fillings and other metal dental restorations of differing compositions interact, generating a charge. Unlike gold and silver, the composite materials used in tooth-colored fillings do not generate electricity, protecting your mouth from galvanic shock.
- Non-Toxic/Hypoallergenic – Tooth-colored fillings don’t contain mercury or other toxic/potentially allergenic materials.
- Temperature Resistant – Tooth-colored fillings don’t expand and contract when they come into contact with hot and cold. This reduces the stress put on the inside of the tooth, preventing sensitivity and helping to maintain the tooth’s structural integrity.
- Preserves Enamel – Tooth-colored fillings require far less enamel be removed to make room for them, which helps further preserve the structural integrity of the surrounding tooth.
- Hardens Quickly – Tooth-colored fillings are applied in layers and harden almost instantly using a special hand-held blue light. This means you can start enjoying your new smile almost immediately after you leave the dentist’s chair.
What To Expect From Tooth-Colored Fillings
Before Dr. Markogiannakis approves you for tooth-colored fillings, she’ll provide you with a consultation. During your consultation, your dentist will thoroughly examine your teeth, ask you about your oral health goals, review your medical history, and suggest other restorative options that you may qualify for if necessary.
Your Chevy Chase dentist will also discuss our sedation dentistry options with you, nitrous oxide and oral-conscious, if you experience dental anxiety. Once you and Dr. Markogiannakis have both decided that tooth-colored fillings are right for you, we’ll schedule your next appointment.
During your next appointment, Dr. Markogiannakis will remove any decayed or damaged enamel with a unique dental drill, which is selected based on where the cavity is located in the tooth and the level of decay. After the enamel is removed and the tooth is cleaned, the space will be filled with the composite material and set with blue light. Finally, your dentist will polish the filling so it feels comfortable and matches your natural teeth and your smile will be restored.
After receiving your tooth-colored restorations, Dr. Markogiannakis strongly recommends adhering to any advice she gives for aftercare and recovery. Post-procedure, some sensitivity to hot and cold is normal but should go away on its own within a few days. Your dentist recommends taking over-the-counter pain medication to manage any discomfort you may experience.
If your filling feels uneven, or your discomfort isn’t subsiding, call our Chevy Chase office by dialing 301-652-0656 and schedule an appointment. We’ll do what we can to solve any issues you may be having and ensure your restorations work as intended.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much do tooth-colored fillings cost?
The exact cost of your tooth-colored fillings will depend on various factors such as the amount of fillings you need, the extent of the damage, and your dental insurance. We encourage you to call your provider beforehand and ask them which costs they can cover. Rest assured that if you need help covering your costs, Smiles of Chevy Chase will work with you to help you receive the quality treatment you deserve.
How long do tooth-colored fillings last?
Tooth-colored fillings are designed to last 10 to 15 years, but they may last longer with proper oral hygiene and regular dental exams. Be sure to continue brushing, flossing, and rinsing between meals, and visit Smiles of Chevy Chase at least twice a year so your dentist can help you maintain your oral health as well as your restorations.
Do tooth-colored fillings change color?
Tooth-colored fillings can stain over time. If you want to maintain your restoration, your Chevy Chase dentist recommends proper oral hygiene, regular dental exams, and avoiding foods and drinks that can stain your smile such as:
- Dark berries
- Coffee and tea
What can I eat after getting a tooth-colored filling?
Tooth-colored fillings harden almost instantaneously, so they don’t require dietary restrictions to ensure they are set properly. However, your dentist and the rest of the team at Smiles of Chevy Chase suggest that you wait until your anesthetic completely wears off before eating anything again. You should especially avoid both foods and drinks that are hot while your anesthetic is still working. Waiting for the anesthetic to wear off will help ensure you don’t burn your mouth or bite down too hard and unknowingly damage your lips, tongue, or gums.
Beautifully Repair Your Smile With Tooth-Colored Fillings
Thanks to tooth-colored fillings, your Chevy Chase dentist can help repair your smile, potentially saving your teeth from more invasive procedures and costly restorations down the line. If you think you need a filling, don’t wait for the problem to get worse. Instead, call Smiles of Chevy Chase by dialing 301-652-0656. You can also submit our contact form and a friendly team member will get back to you shortly.
Leading Washington dentist, Dr. Markgoiannakis, and the team at Smiles of Chevy Chase proudly offer our services to patients at our Chevy Chase location and in surrounding areas such as Bethesda, Somerset, and Forest Hills. We look forward to restoring and protecting your smile for years to come.