Dentists, in Dentistry For You clinic, can restore a broken, chipped tooth or teeth affected by decay with a composite resin that approximately matches the color of the tooth. A composite filling was often used in front teeth or on visible surfaces of a tooth in the past, but now can be applied anywhere in the mouth. This material is a good choice for small to mid size tooth repairs; it is durable and provides the strength necessary to tolerate the pressure on the tooth caused by chewing. Because the material can be colored to match the color of the tooth, people find this filling material aesthetically pleasing since the fillings look more natural.
As with silver amalgam fillings, composite fillings have advantages and disadvantages. Composite fillings cost more than silver amalgam fillings and may not be covered by all dental insurance. Like other types of dental restoration materials, composite fillings are durable and will last for many years if maintained properly. However, like the other types of filling materials they may need to be replaced someday. Because composite fillings require the surface being filled, the mouth to be kept dry during the filling process, it may take longer to have a composite filling than a traditional silver amalgam filling
Composite fillings (white fillings or tooth colored material fillings) can be used to repair teeth that are decayed, chipped, cracked, or broken. The composite resin can also be used to close gaps between teeth or to rebuild worn teeth.
The procedure for repairing teeth with a composite filling is similar to a filling with silver amalgam. A local anesthetic will be given to numb the tooth and the surrounding tissue. Once the anesthetic has taken affect, the broken part of the tooth or cavity will be drilled to remove the decay or old filling and provide a clean surface to attach the filling to. If the decay is located close to nerves, a protective medication will be applied in the tooth. A direct composite filling requires the dentist to place an acid gel onto the tooth’s surface to etch the tooth which allows the composite resin to bond to the tooth. The resin material is put into the tooth and hardened or cured with a blue light.
Certain situations may require an indirect filling. For this type of composite filling the dentist will create a mold of the tooth for the required filling. The mold will be sent to a dental laboratory where the filling is made. This type of filling requires a second appointment to have the filling set into place using special dental cement. This method is used if the tooth has extensive broken, previous large filling, or is weakened due to decay. An indirect filling procedure forms a nicer look and stronger restoration than a direct filling. The dentist will polish the tooth to complete the procedure.
Some filling might be sensitive after being filled; this sensitivity will decrease over time.
Preventing cavities and dental injuries is the best course of action. Practicing good dental hygiene and regular dental checkups will reduce the risk of cavities. If you have any questions or concerns about composite fillings, discuss it with our dentists at Dentistry For You clinic.