Composite fillings are restorative dental treatments used to repair decayed teeth by filling in dental cavities. They are made using dental composite resin, which is a dental material that can be matched to the natural color of the tooth, as well as shaped to blend in with the surrounding texture. This makes composite fillings highly aesthetic and barely noticeable. Because of their ability to be color-matched, composite fillings are sometimes called tooth colored fillings or white fillings.
Did You Know?
Composite fillings are known as a direct restoration because they can be entirely completed inside the mouth and do not require the use of a dental lab. Additionally, this means that they can be placed during a single dental appointment.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Am I a candidate for a composite filling?
You may be a candidate for a composite filling if you have a small to medium cavity on your tooth. Composite fillings work well to restore small to medium cavities in both the front and back of the mouth, however they are not always ideal for restoring large areas of decay. To determine if you are a candidate for a composite filling, schedule a consultation with your Lakewood Ranch dental office today.
What can I expect when having a composite filling placed?
To place a composite filling, your mouth will first be anesthetized to keep you comfortable during the procedure. Any decayed tissue will then be removed from the affected tooth and the remaining tissue may possibly be reshaped. Since composite resin adheres well with the tooth’s surface, it preserves most of the natural tooth structure.
Once the area has been prepared by removing the decayed tissue and reshaping the healthy tissue, composite resin will be applied in layers. Composite resin is soft when first applied and must be hardened with a curing light one layer at a time. The amount of layers needed will depend upon the depth of the cavity. Before the final layer is hardened, it will be properly shaped to blend with the surrounding tooth structure.
Will I need to follow any special guidelines after having a composite filling placed?
After you have a composite filling placed, there are no special guidelines you need to follow because your filling is completely hardened in place during your appointment. However, it is recommended to not chew anything until your mouth is no longer numb. This is because you may accidentally bite your lips and inside of the cheeks.
How long will my composite filling last?
You can expect your composite filling to last about 5-7 years if cared for properly. To care for your composite filling, you will simply need to continue your oral hygiene routine of brushing twice a day and flossing once a day. You will also want to schedule an appointment with your dentist every six months for an exam and cleaning.
Another way to care for your composite filling is to prevent it from becoming damaged. Composite fillings that chip, crack, or fall out must be completely replaced. Therefore, to prevent damage you should avoid biting your nails, chewing on ice or pens, eating excessively hard or sticky foods, grinding or clenching your teeth, and using your teeth to open things.