Composite fillings are one type of material that is used to fill a tooth following the removal of decay known as a cavity. This material is a mixture of glass or quartz blended with a resin. It is a strong durable product that is tooth-colored to blend in with the remaining natural portion of your tooth.
In the past, dentists preferred the silver amalgam filling material, but composites have advanced. We now consider composite fillings to be durable and resistant to fracture in small to medium sized restorations when subjected to normal use and chewing pressure. An additional advantage to composite fillings is that we are able to remove less tooth structure when our dentists, Doctors Gregorin, prepare the tooth, and resulting in a smaller filling than with amalgam. We find it to be an advantage that this material bonds to the tooth, unlike amalgam. Thus, saving more of your natural tooth structure. And, this is always a good thing!
How are composite fillings placed?
This process begins with our dentist seeing a need to fill a space for the health of a tooth. First, Dr. Gregorin or Gregorin II will answer any questions you have and then numb the area. This may be due to decay or is sometimes used on fractured teeth. We will thoroughly remove all decay that is present, preparing the tooth to successfully bond with the composite filling material. The placement of this material requires that the tooth be kept dry during the entire process, so you will have various helpers in your mouth for that purpose. A blue light will be used to turn the composite material from soft, pliable material to a hard, durable restoration. This is a painless procedure that should last for several years. The life expectancy can vary greatly depending on where it is in your mouth, how heavy your bite is, your cavity risk, and how good your home care is.
Is composite filling a durable product for repair of fractured teeth?
Yes, we have found this to be a very long lasting material. We commonly use composite filling material to repair front teeth that have chipped or worn. When possible, bonding composite fillings to front teeth for repair are generally much less expensive than veneers or crowns. However, bonding typically does not last as long as veneers or crowns.
Reasons for composite fillings
- Restoring cavities that are small to medium sized.
- Restoring cavities on anterior (front) teeth.
- Repairing a fractured or chipped anterior teeth.
- Using this bonded material for build ups on posterior (back) teeth
Post dental Composite Placement
Patients can report sensitivity after initial placement, however, it should pass quickly. We have found with the advanced techniques we use this is uncommon. On the off chance it persists for a week or more it is important to call our office so we can examine the tooth. This will determine if additional treatment is needed. Composite fillings are subject to stain and discoloration depending of habits, some patients request new composite fillings after a period of time as a way to brighten their smile.