Composite fillings, also known as white or tooth-colored fillings, are used to restore small to medium areas of decay on a tooth. They are made from composite resin, which is a dental material that can be customized in color and shape to blend with the rest of the tooth structure. This type of filling is valued for its aesthetic appearance, as well as its ability to restore decayed teeth.
Did You Know?
Dental composite resin has become an increasingly popular dental material for fillings. It is valued in modern dentistry for its appearance, affordability, and ability to preserve natural tooth structure.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Am I a candidate for a composite filling?
You may be a candidate for a composite filling if you have a small to medium cavity caused by dental decay. In some cases, you may experience certain symptoms like tooth sensitivity or discoloration that can indicate a cavity, while other cases may not have symptoms. However, if your Saratoga dentist detects a cavity during your routine dental exam, then you may need a composite filling.
How are composite fillings placed at my Saratoga Dental Office?
Composite fillings are direct restorations, meaning they are made entirely in the mouth and only require a single dental appointment that lasts about an hour to be placed. To place a composite filling, your Saratoga dentist will first anesthetize the area to keep you numb. At your request, dental sedation may also be offered to keep you relaxed if you suffer from dental anxiety.
Before the filling itself can be placed, your Saratoga dentist will remove any decayed tissue and shape the remaining tooth structure in preparation for the filling. An acidic solution is then applied to roughen up the tooth’s surface so that the composite resin can adhere better. At this point, the composite resin will be placed. Although it starts out soft, your dentist will use a special curing light to harden the composite resin one layer at a time. The final layer will then be shaped and polished so that it is indistinguishable from the rest of the tooth.
What happens after having a composite filling placed?
After you have a composite filling placed, you can expect to feel numb for approximately 1-5 hours after your procedure. The exact amount of time will depend upon how your body metabolizes the anesthetic. One you are no longer numb, it is safe to eat without the fear of soft tissue damage. Other than waiting until your mouth is no longer numb to eat, there are no other post-op guidelines to follow.
How long do composite fillings last?
Composite fillings last about 5-7 years, although some may last longer than this, while others may wear out sooner. To take care of your filling so that it lasts longer, you will need to brush twice a day, floss once a day, and schedule an appointment with your Saratoga dentist for a checkup and teeth cleaning.
Additionally, you will also want to avoid dangerous behaviors that can result in damage to your teeth or composite filling. Such activities can include nail biting, chewing on pens or ice, and using teeth as an opener.