A composite (tooth colored) filling is used to repair a tooth that is affected by decay, cracks, fractures, etc. The decayed or affected portion of the tooth will be removed and then filled with a composite filling. There are many types of filling materials available, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. You and your dentist can discuss the most effective options for restoring your teeth.
Types of fillings
Composite fillings, along with silver amalgam fillings, are popular among patients since composite fillings are tooth colored and match the color of existing teeth. Many patients find that composite fillings are more aesthetically pleasing for use in front teeth or the more visible areas of the teeth. As with most dental restorations, composite fillings are not permanent and may someday require replacing.
However, composite fillings are durable and will last many years to give patients a beautiful smile. The patient may receive a composite filling for chipped, missing, cracked, broken or decayed teeth. Patients who need to fill cavities and are looking for a long-lasting, attractive option can greatly benefit from composite fillings.
Patients of all ages are usually eligible for composite fillings. There are many reasons people prefer resin composite dental fillings, despite the cost. Although it is important to discuss treatment options with a dentist before making a decision.
The benefits of composite fillings
Composite fillings look like teeth and consist of a mixture of plastic and glass. Resin composite fillings are often known as white fillings due to their natural color. Many patients prefer this look, as metal amalgam fillings are more noticeable.
Composite fillings strengthen the tooth. The composite bonds to the tooth and supports it to help avoid chipping.Composites bond to the tooth to support the remaining tooth structure, which helps to prevent breakage and insulate the tooth from excessive temperature changes.
Prices vary, but composites can cost up to two times the price of a silver filling. Most dental insurance plans cover the cost of the composite up to the price of a silver filling, with the patient paying the difference. As composites continue to improve, insurance companies are more likely to increase their coverage of composites.
The process for composite fillings
Composite fillings usually take one appointment. While the tooth is numb, the dentist will remove decay as necessary. The dentist will then thoroughly clean the space and carefully prepare it before placing the new filling. If the decay was near the nerve of the tooth, we will apply a special medication for more protection. We will then place the composite filling in a precise area, shape it and polish it to restore the tooth to its original shape and function.
It is normal to experience sensitivity to hot and cold upon first placing composite fillings. However, this sensation will subside shortly after the tooth acclimates to the new filling. You will be given care instructions at the conclusion of your treatment. Good oral hygiene practices, eating habits, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new fillings.
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