Is there a filling material that matches tooth color?

Yes.  Composite resins are tooth-colored, plastic materials (made of glass and resin) that are used both as fillings and to repair defects in the teeth.  Because they are tooth-colored, it is difficult to distinguish them from natural teeth.

If my tooth doesn’t hurt and my filling is still in place, why would the filling need to be replaced?

Constant pressure from chewing, grinding or clenching can cause dental fillings, or restorations, to wear away, chip or crack.  Although you may not be able to tell that your filling is wearing down, Dr. Rice can identify weaknesses in your restorations during a regular check-up.

If the seal between the tooth enamel and the restoration breaks down, food particles and decay-causing bacteria can work their way under the restoration.  You then run the risk of developing additional decay in that tooth.  Decay that is left untreated can progress to infect the dental pulp and may cause an abscess.

If the restoration is large or the recurrent decay is extensive, there may not be enough tooth structure remaining to support a replacement filling.  In these cases, Dr. Rice may need to replace the filling with a crown.