What Are Composite Fillings?
Composite fillings are a tooth-colored material used to restore decaying teeth (cavities) or to enhance a person’s smile – either by changing the color of the teeth or reshaping teeth. Composite fillings are made of a tooth colored resin material. The main uses for composite fillings include:
- Repair small cracks and chips
- Rebuild worn edges
- Fill small gaps between teeth
- Correct minor discoloration
- Fill cavities
If you have any of these symptoms or experience pain or sensitivity while eating or drinking hot or cold beverages, you may need a filling. Sensitive or painful teeth can be a sign of a cavity. To fix the cavity a dentist will remove the harmful bacteria (cavity) and replace the missing tooth structure with a composite (tooth colored) filling. A cavity that is left untreated will continue to get bigger and may need more expensive treatments such as a root canal and crown or need to be extracted in the future.
Composite Filling Procedure
Once any decay has been removed and the tooth is cleaned of bacteria and debris, the composite filling will be applied in layers. Each layer will be hardened with a ultraviolet light and your filling will then be shaped and polished to match the existing tooth. The final result is virtually indistinguishable.
Benefits to Composite Fillings
Composite fillings are superior to silver and gold fillings. They provide a more natural and beautiful looking smile and with proper care, can last many years. Since composite fillings are bonded to the tooth, less tooth structure than a silver filling needs to be removed to place a composite filling.
Silver fillings are unable to bond with the tooth, simply resting in the tooth by mechanical retention. Composite fillings actually bond with the rest of the tooth, strengthening the tooth.
Disadvantages to Composite Fillings
Because the color mimics natural teeth, wine, coffee, or other staining liquids or foods can stain the filling. Composite fillings can be up to twice the cost of silver fillings. Though they are more expensive than other types of fillings, the initial cost is offset by the health benefits and reduced likelihood of fractured teeth.
Schedule an Appointment
A cavity left untreated can lead to much more serious dental problems. If you think you have a cavity call us to schedule an appointment today at (734) 464-8020.