What are Composite Fillings?
Composite fillings are used to replace decay which has affected one or more teeth. Decay often begins with a small cavity; over time, if left untreated, it eats away at the tooth to the point of reaching the inner pulp, or nerve. Once it has reached the pulp of the tooth, a root canal is necessary to stop the pain and infection. Before it gets to that point, a simple composite filling can be placed. The decay is removed from the tooth using a slow speed drill, and composite resin is poured into the hole of the tooth. This improves the structural integrity of the tooth while providing you with a flawless finish. Composite fillings are tooth-colored, so you won’t even be able to see them after they’ve been placed.
Why would you need Composite Fillings?
The most common reason for needing a composite filling is because you have a cavity. Cavities can be either large or small, but in either case a composite filling works by replacing the decay with a restoration. Composite fillings are great for all teeth and varying tooth surfaces, but they are especially beneficial in areas where metal (amalgam) fillings tend to fall out. For many patients, switching to composite fillings allows them to feel safer about the restorations put into their mouths, since no metal is used to replace the decay, as you’d find with older fillings. It’s not uncommon for patients to have composite fillings replace their older amalgam ones.
What makes you a good candidate for Composite Fillings?
Fillings are ideal for all different patients of any ages. The procedure is done quickly, and multiple fillings can be placed at the same time, depending on where they are needed in the mouth. Composite fillings can last for years without needing replacement, especially if you take good care of your teeth and avoid overly gummy or sticky foods. The filling is essential in stopping the spread of decay in the tooth, which will eventually result in the need for a root canal. The filling procedure can be done in as little as a half an hour, and requires just local anesthetic to perform. Before the filling is placed, we take a tooth shade match to ensure that the color composite we’re using blends seamlessly with the rest of the tooth.
What can you expect during the procedure for Composite Fillings?
You will come in and receive local anesthetic to numb the area that will be getting the filling. The tooth is first drilled into, and then the decay is removed with a slow speed drill. The hole that was created is prepped with a type of bonding liquid. The composite resin is both poured and placed into this hole, and then molded into place using specialized tools. Once the composite resin is completely smooth, we’ll cure it into place using a blue curing light. After the filling is cured, you’re ready to get up and leave the office. The procedure is done quickly and comfortably, and we can do several fillings at the same appointment as needed, as long as they are on the same side of the mouth. It is important to keep up with your routine dental appointments so that we can detect cavities before they get severe enough to need a root canal. Additionally, we can schedule you to have older amalgam fillings removed if you’d rather them be replaced with composite resin.