Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Composite Fillings

A dental cavity is the result of bacterial buildup damaging the tooth to the point where a small hole forms. If left untreated, a cavity will worsen allowing bacteria to penetrate the tooth’s pulp, resulting in an infection. Cavities are some of the most common dental issues we see among our patients. Fortunately, composite dental fillings repair cavities and stop them from worsening while reinforcing the strength and resilience of natural teeth.

Are you suffering from dental cavities? Wondering if composite fillings are right for you? Keep reading to learn everything there is to know about what composite fillings have to offer.

So, What are Composite Fillings?

Unlike amalgam fillings which contain unsightly or potentially harmful metals, composite fillings are made from a mixture of resin and tooth-colored materials. The result is a dental filling that looks and acts like natural tooth material.

Composite fillings don’t require additional adhesives or cement, meaning less tooth material needs to be removed. The result is less time in the dental chair and less overall discomfort during the procedure. Removing less material preserves the natural tooth structure, leaving the tooth’s strength and natural resilience intact.

What are the Advantages of Composite Fillings?

Composite fillings offer numerous advantages over classic amalgam fillings.

The resin in composite fillings adheres to your teeth better than metal, creating a tighter bond that prevents the spread of tooth decay. A tighter fit also means composite fillings are less likely to break or fall out over time.

Composite fillings also protect against tooth sensitivity. When a tooth begins to decay, nerve endings inside the tooth are exposed, resulting in increased sensitivity to hot or cold foods and beverages. Fillings seal these exposed areas, preventing contact with nerve endings.

Unlike crowns or bridges, composite fillings can be repaired. If your composite fillings become cracked or otherwise damaged, all your dentist will need to do is add more resin to the filling. This eliminates the need to modify the tooth, preserving the tooth’s natural structure.

How are composite fillings different than other restorative dental procedures?

Restorative dental procedures work wonders for preserving your smile and restoring the strength of your teeth. However, these procedures come with both pros and cons. While dental crowns repair damaged teeth to a like-new condition, they require significant modification to the tooth structure.

If a tooth is already severely damaged, further modification isn’t an issue. But in cases of minimal tooth damage, such as a chip or a small cavity, composite fillings provide a minimally invasive and highly-effective solution for repairing teeth without requiring tooth modification. This preserves the tooth’s natural structure and strength.

A composite filling procedure also takes much less time to complete than dental crowns or bridges. It typically takes no more than a single visit for our dentists to apply and cure the composite resin.

How are composite fillings placed?

Before any dental procedure, you’ll need to come into our office for a brief consultation. During this consultation, your doctor will closely examine your teeth to assess their health and condition. Composite fillings are best suited for minor fractures and small cavities. If your doctor determines that your tooth damage is too extensive for composite fillings, they may recommend another restorative dental treatment. If your doctor finds that composite fillings are right for you, they will schedule the fillings procedure.

Before applying the composite fillings, any decayed areas of your teeth will need to be removed. Your doctor will begin by applying a local anesthetic to the area around the affected teeth. Once the teeth are sufficiently numb, your doctor will remove the decayed areas with a dental drill. These areas are then cleaned and disinfected before the doctor applies an adhesive to the tooth to help the composite material stick.

Finally, your doctor will apply the composite material. A special bonding light is used to make the composite material harden. Once completed, the doctor will shape and polish your fillings for a natural-looking finish.

Tomken Dental - Mississauga

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