Composite Fillings

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Composite is a material used to repair small decay fractures and breaks on teeth. It is recommended over amalgam by dentists thanks to its strength and flexibility, short recovery period and tooth-colored nature.

What’s the composite filling procedure like?

The composite filling is one of the most common procedures carried out in dental offices today. It can be done in just one office appointment, and your tooth will be good to use as soon as the numbness recedes.

The dentist will first discuss your problem with you, introduce the procedure and explain any risks that may be involved.

Your tooth will be numbed using a local anesthetic before the dentist can get down to drilling away the decay. Most dentists use the non-invasive WaterLase drill for the procedure.

Next, your dentist will place the filling material on the space left by the tooth, and then polish and shape it using special tools until the required shape and texture have been achieved.

A high-intensity light may be used to harden the material and strengthen its bond with the surface of the tooth.

How long does it take for composite fillings to wear off?

Here are a few factors that determine the longevity of composite fillings on teeth:

  • Oral care after the procedure – Your filling can last for years if you give the treated tooth the same attention you do the rest of your other teeth.

  • The expertise of your dentist – Your dentist’s skill plays a major role in determining how long your filling will last. A well-placed composite filling should give your tooth a natural look and be able to withstand just as much pressure as your other teeth.

  • Pressure on the tooth – Too much pressure on a tooth treated with composite filling can weaken the bonding and cause the material to wear off quickly.

There are many types of filling materials available, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.  You and your dentist can discuss the best options for restoring your teeth.  Composite fillings, along with silver amalgam fillings, are the most widely used today.  Because composite fillings are tooth colored, 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.

As with most dental restorations, composite fillings are not permanent and may someday have to be replaced.  They are very durable and will last many years, giving you a long-lasting, beautiful smile.

Reasons for composite fillings:

  • Chipped teeth.
  • Closing space between two teeth.
  • Cracked or broken teeth.
  • Decayed teeth.
  • Worn teeth.
How are composite fillings placed?
Composite fillings are usually placed in one appointment.  While the tooth is numb, your dentist will remove decay as necessary.  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.

It is normal to experience sensitivity to hot and cold when composite fillings are first placed, 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.

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