There are many types of filling materials available, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. You and your dentist should discuss the best options for restoring your teeth. Composite fillings, along with silver amalgam fillings, are the most widely used today. Composite fillings have the benefit of being tooth colored and are metal-free. They can be closely matched to the color of existing teeth, and are more aesthetically suited for use in front teeth or the more visible areas of the teeth.
A composite 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 filling. As with most dental restorations, composite fillings are not permanent and may someday have to be replaced although composite materials have improved greatly since their development decades ago. Modern composite brands are very durable, and will last many years, giving you a long lasting, beautiful smile.
Reasons for composite fillings:
How are composite fillings placed?
Composite fillings are usually placed in one appointment. While the tooth is numb, we will remove 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 added protection. The composite filling will then be precisely placed, shaped, and polished, restoring your tooth to its original shape and function.
Because composite is sensitive to moisture before it has hardened, it should be placed using an Isolite device or a rubber dam to protect the tooth from saliva and condensation from the patients breath. If isolation devices are not used, the bond strength of the filling to the tooth will be weaker and the filling will not last as long.
It is not unusual to experience minor sensitivity cold shortly after fillings are first placed, especially if they are closer to the nerve due to deep decay, however this will subside shortly after your tooth acclimates to the new filling.
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.