What is a Composite Filling?
Tooth decays, cracks or fractures are repaired by removing the decayed or affected portion of the tooth and filling it with a composite (white/tooth colored) filling. Composite fillings, along with silver amalgam fillings are the most widely used today. In recent years, composite resin material has replaced the traditional amalgam filling due to its aesthetic advantage for dental restorations. It is formulated to resemble the color of your natural tooth so you don’t have to show the entire world your cavities, just your beautiful smile.
White fillings are not new to the world of dentistry and were first introduced in the 60’s. At the time, the composite material was not strong enough to be used on back teeth and would wear down and cause even more decay. The newer composites consist of glass or quartz filler added to a resin medium, which produces a tooth-colored filling. This plastic and glass mixture is much more durable and can be shaped to resemble a real tooth. They are very durable and will last many years.
As with most dental restorations, composite fillings are not permanent and may someday have to be replaced.
How does the Procedure Work?
A composite filling is usually done in one appointment. Typically, while the tooth is numb, Dr. Heidarian will remove as much decay as necessary. The space will then be thoroughly cleaned and carefully prepared before the new filling is placed. If the decay was near the nerve of the tooth, a special medication will be applied for an added layer of protection. The composite filling will then be precisely placed, layered, shaped, and polished – restoring your tooth to its original shape and function.
Dentists have other reasons to promote composite resin as a dental filling material. Amalgam fillings require a larger section of the tooth to be removed. Composite resin filling allows your dentist to only drill away the diseased part of the tooth. This better preserves the existing tooth structure for years to come. We encourage you to learn more about the various filling materials during your office visit with Dr. Heidarian to achieve optimum results for your lifestyle.
What Should You Expect After Treatment?
You may experience some sensitivity to hot and cold when composite fillings are first placed on your teeth, this is normal and will diminish shortly after your tooth acclimates to the new filling.
You will be given care instructions after your treatment. Good oral hygiene practices, eating habits, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new fillings.