Composite fillings, also known as white or tooth-colored fillings, are commonly used to restore decayed teeth with small to medium cavities. Because they are made from composite resin, which is a mixture of glass and plastic, composite fillings can be matched to the exact color of your teeth. This means that composite fillings can fill cavities, while being nearly invisible. In some cases, composite can also be used in a process known as dental bonding, whereby composite resin is used to repair minor chips or cracks on the surface of the tooth.
Did You Know?
Composite resin is able to bond directly to the tooth enamel and is considered to be a direct restoration. This means that the filling is fabricated inside of the mouth and is finished in a single dental appointment. Being able to bond directly to the enamel also means that less alterations to the natural tooth are made.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Am I a candidate for a composite filling?
You may be a candidate for a composite filling if you have a dental cavity that is small to medium in size. While composite fillings work well for filling small to medium cavities, larger cavities may need to be treated with alternative restorations, such as an inlay or onlay. In some cases, composite resin can also be used to repair small cracks or chips that have affected the enamel layer. To determine if a composite filling is right for you, schedule a consultation with Maxtown Family Dental today.
What can I expect when having a composite filling placed at Maxtown Family Dental?
When having a composite filling placed at Maxtown Family Dental, you can expect to first have the affected tooth numbed to keep you comfortable. Once your tooth is numb, then your dentist will begin by removing the decayed tissue. The affected tooth will then be isolated and dried in preparation for the filling placement. It is important that your tooth remains dry while the composite resin is placed. For this reason, you may have cotton placed around the tooth, as well as a small suction tube to eliminate saliva.
The remaining cavity will then be filled with composite resin, which starts off as being a soft, almost liquid material. Composite resin is applied in layers with each layer being hardened with a special curing light before applying the next layer. Each layer takes less than a minute to harden and most small to medium cavities take about three layers to fill, however this can vary. The final layer applied to the tooth will be shaped and polished so that it blends in with the surrounding structure.
What can I expect after having a composite filling placed?
After having your composite filling placed, your mouth may still remain numb for about an hour or two following the procedure. During this time it is important to avoid eating so you don’t accidentally bite cheeks or tongue. Once your mouth has regained feeling, you will be able to return to your normal diet. Since composite fillings are completed in a single appointment, you will have no dietary restrictions or special instructions to follow.
To care for your composite filling, simply continue to practice good oral hygiene. This means brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting Maxtown Family Dental for your semi-annual teeth cleaning and exam. In most cases, you can expect your composite filling to last about 5-7 years.