Complete Guide to Composite Filling

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complete guide to composite filling

Composite fillings are one of the most common dental fillings used for treating cavities and restoring damaged teeth. Tooth-colored composite fillings have become popular because they look natural and are very durable. 

If you’re interested in getting dental fillings near you, this blog will walk you through the process step by step, so you’ll know what to expect at your next dental appointment.

Composite fillings: What are they?

A composite filling is a type of dental filling that is very similar to the traditional silver amalgam one. However, these fillings are specifically fabricated to match the natural colour of the original tooth. They are also known as resin fillings or white fillings.

This structure helps to repair the cracks and fissures sustained by damaged teeth. Your dentist near you will remove the damaged area or the affected part of the tooth and place a composite filling in its place.

How long are composite fillings effective?

Like everything else in life, composite fillings come with an expiration date. Most composite fillings last 5 to 7 years, but we’ve seen cases where they last much longer.

While composite fillings are designed to withstand the same level of pressure as real teeth, they’re not a permanent solution. If a filling becomes broken, loose, or falls out, it’s easy to replace it. If this happens, you’ll need to contact your dentist in North Edmonton quickly to stop the infection from spreading to your tooth. 

Why do you need composite fillings?

Some of the most common reasons for composite fillings include:

  • Stress, damage, or injury to teeth. 
  • Tooth decay. 
  • Bruxism (grinding and clenching).

How do composite fillings look when you smile?

Usually, it’s putty that looks like plasticine before it’s ingested in your tooth gap. Once your dentist has finished, it’ll look like a tooth and be inserted into your mouth. You may not even be aware of it until it’s inside and has time to harden.

Do composite fillings pose any risks?

Some people are concerned about composite fillings’ safety, especially the potential for the substance to damage the cells in the surrounding tissues of the filling. Composite fillings with deeper colors may be at higher risk due to the use of a hardening device that uses light to harden them. 

The researchers recommended that dentists not allow the material to come into contact with the skin and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for factors such as light intensity and time of light cure.

Benefits of composite fillings

Here are some of the benefits of tooth coloured resin dental fillings in North Edmonton:

  • They look exactly like your real teeth, so they look more natural.
  • You don’t have to drill as much to remove the tooth structure.
  • They don’t take as long to solidify as other materials.
  • They stick to your teeth, making them stronger and less likely to break.
  • You can get repaired if they are damaged.

Disadvantages of composite fillings

  • They require additional dental work to be applied to the tooth.
  • Resin fillings typically wear out faster than metal fillings.
  • If you eat or drink a lot of coffee, tea, or red wine, resin fillings can become stained.
  • They may wear out faster if you drink alcohol.
  • Composite fillings are more expensive than fillings made with silver.
  • Your dental plan may only cover resin fillings for visible teeth.
  • Your dental insurance provider may require you to pay a higher co-payment or pay more.

What is the treatment like?

First, your dentist will evaluate your mouth to determine if this solution is the best for you. Once you’ve been approved, they will numb the area around the targeted tooth to keep you feeling comfortable throughout the visit.

Composite resin fillings require a dry surface. Your dentist will isolate your tooth using a rubber dam. Not only does this provide a dry surface, but it also reduces the risk of saliva coming into contact with your open tooth.

Your dentist will prepare your tooth for the composite material after removing decay. Your dentist may use a chemical to help the filling material adhere to your tooth. Because of the multi step bonding process required for composite resin dental fillings, the process may take a bit longer than for amalgam dental fillings. Once the dentist places, shapes, and dries each layer of composite material, your tooth is ready for polishing. 

Want to Learn More?

Griesbach Dental can answer any questions you may have about composite resin fillings. We are also happy to accommodate all of your routine and emergency dental needs. Give us a call today and we will help you schedule your next appointment.