A composite, white-colored filling is used to repair a tooth affected by decay, cracks, fractures, etc. At Restoration Smiles: Adult & Pediatric Dentistry, we place composite fillings by first removing the decayed or affected portion of the tooth and then we will fill the cleaned cavity with the composite filling, returning the tooth to its normal function and shape. Compared to other filling materials, composite resin has several advantages. For instance, the materials used for these fillings can be color-matched to the color of your existing teeth, making them virtually invisible. In contrast, metal fillings often leave dark spots on your teeth and can stand out when you are smiling or talking. With composite resin, these types of cosmetic concerns are eliminated. Additionally, the composite resin is highly durable and does not expand and contract with changes in temperature the way metal fillings do.
The Composite Filling Procedures
If decay is present, our dentist will first remove the tooth decay and thoroughly clean the tooth. This removes the damaged areas of the tooth structure and any bacteria present. Your dentist will then place an etchant on the affected tooth to roughen the surface of the tooth so that your composite resin filling can bond securely to the tooth surface. They will then apply the composite resin material in layers to rebuild your tooth structure and restore it to its natural strength. A curing light is used to harden each layer in place. Once the procedure is complete, your restored tooth will be as strong as ever! Ensure you continue practicing good oral hygiene habits at home, including brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily, and visiting the dentist every six months for regular checkups and professional cleanings.
The Advantages of Composite Fillings
Composite fillings are made out of a plastic compound containing no metals. This makes them a popular alternative to amalgam fillings made of a metal alloy. Composite restorations blend in seamlessly with the rest of your smile, offering an aesthetic advantage over silver fillings. The composite material is also color-matched to your natural teeth, making its appearance unnoticeable to others.
In terms of functionality and strength, composites boast several advantages over metal amalgam. Unlike amalgams, composite fillings don’t have to be drilled out. Instead, they are carefully etched out of the enamel with a dental drill and then polished to create a smooth surface. For patients with existing cavities, composite fillings can be placed without anesthesia. Since less drilling is required, this also reduces the patient’s risk for discomfort or pain. Furthermore, because less tooth structure is removed, composites are also better for protecting weakened areas of the tooth, such as the cusps.
If you want to learn more about composite resin fillings or need to have a cavity filled, contact Restoration Smiles: Adult & Pediatric Dentistry at 2 Coolidge St Suite 202, Hudson, MA 01749, or call (508) 658-0661 to schedule an appointment.