What are Composite Fillings?
A composite (tooth colored) filling is used to repair a tooth that is affected by decay, cracks, fractures, etc. The decayed or affected portion of the tooth will be removed and then filled with a composite material that matches your tooth color. There are many types of filling materials available, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Composite fillings are the most widely used today. Because composite fillings are tooth colored, they can be closely matched to the color of existing teeth, they are conservative and are bonded directly to your own natural tooth structure.
Tooth colored fillings are more aesthetically suited for use in front teeth or the more visible areas of the teeth. As with most dental restorations, composite fillings are not permanent and may someday have to be replaced. Yet they are very durable, and will last many years, giving you a long lasting, beautiful smile.
Reasons for composite fillings:
- Chipped teeth
- Closing space between two teeth
- Cracked or broken teeth
- Decayed teeth
- Worn teeth
How are composite fillings placed?
Composite fillings are usually placed in one appointment. While the tooth is numb, your dentist will carefully and conservatively remove the damaged part of your tooth. 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 might need to be applied for added protection. The composite filling will then be precisely placed, shaped, and polished, restoring your tooth to its original shape and function.
It is normal to experience sensitivity to hot and cold when composite fillings are first placed, however this will subside over time shortly after your tooth acclimates to the new filling. It is note-worthy, the bacteria from the cavity might have damaged the nerve although the damage is not visible. Time and your symptoms will indicate if further treatment will be needed.
You will be given care instructions at the conclusion of your treatment. Good oral hygiene practices, eating habits, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new fillings.