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Would you like your dental fillings to look more natural, instead of black, brown or gray? Would you like them to be both durable and stain cosmetic dentistry, restorative dentistryresistant? Cosmetic bonding and tooth-colored fillings will fulfill those goals. 

Dr. Kimberly Chapman, your Bothell, WA family dentist, uses both porcelain veneers and tooth-colored composite resin fillings to restore smiles which have decay and aesthetic flaws such as chips, cracks, and gaps. Read the details below on these popular services to decide if they are right for your smile.

Tooth-Colored Composite Resin Bonding

Composite resin bonding involves a blend of glass particles and high-density acrylic that's tooth-colored and sculptable. When cured with a special light and then polished, composite resin fills areas of decay, erases hairline cracks, smooths mild overcrowding, fills small gaps, reduces dental sensitivity and can add a measure of strength to basically healthy teeth.

The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry calls cosmetic bonding an "additive process." What does this mean? Well, when your Bothell family dentist finishes gently preparing your tooth, she adds composite resin to the target areas, building them up and correcting their shape. Layer by layer, she applies and hardens the material, and when finished, the tooth receives a final shaping and polishing. Dr. Kimberly Chapman then checks your bite to make sure the new filling fits with your other teeth and your bite.

Composite resins usually last somewhere around three to five years. While they are not as stain resistant as porcelain veneers, they do retain their natural-looking beauty when patients brush, floss and get six-month check-ups and cleanings with Dr. Chapman.

Tooth-colored fillings vs. Metal Fillings

While the American Dental Association says conventional metal fillings are safe and strong, tooth-colored fillings render improved aesthetics and reliably strong restorations for small to medium-sized cavities. Made from composite resin, porcelain (for inlays and onlays, or partial crowns) or glass ionomer (a mixture of fluoride and glass), tooth-colored fillings bond directly to healthy tooth structure. Composite resin is the most frequently chosen material.

Metal amalgam fillings start to make the tooth turn black, brown or gray over time. Because metals expand and contract more with temperatures than your natural tooth does, over time teeth with large metal fillings will have cracks in them from the filling wedging them apart.  The composite resin fillings expand and contract at a rate that is more similar to your natural tooth, compared to metals.

Besides their obvious aesthetic benefits, tooth-colored fillings feature excellent durability. Also, they are actually flexible, giving and taking with the pressures of biting and chewing. As a result, the tooth enamel winds up having fewer cracks and chips than if it had been restored with metal amalgam.

As outlined earlier, to place a composite resin restoration, Dr. Chapman numbs the area around the tooth with a local anesthetic. When the patient is comfortable, she removes the decayed enamel and any old filling material. Then she applies the composite resin, layering it into the prepared site and hardening it. When complete, the dentist gives the tooth a final shaping and polishing, and she checks the bite.

Just like cosmetic bonding, your white filling resembles real tooth enamel. Plus, you can expect it to last for years with proper care.

You can have a strong, attractive smile, and cosmetic bonding and tooth-colored fillings can help. If you suspect you have a cavity, or have smiule flaws which you would like to correct, please call Dr. Chapman in Bothell, WA for an appointment at (425) 488-6120

We know you'll love the results!