Composite fillings are resin-based, tooth-colored filling materials used to repair decayed, chipped, cracked or fractured teeth. The affected portion of a tooth is first treated and then restored using composite fillings.
Tooth filling materials come in various types, the most popular of which are tooth-colored composite fillings and traditional silver amalgam fillings. The advent of composite fillings has been beneficial in terms of aesthetics since they can mimic the color of natural teeth. This is the reason why they are widely used to restore visible teeth. Nevertheless, a lot of dentists still used amalgam for back teeth fillings; amalgam is stronger and can resist heavier wear and tear that comes from biting and chewing.
Composite fillings are not permanent and like most dental restorations, they will need to be replaced over the years. With proper care however, composite fillings can give you a confident smile that will last you a lifetime.
Your dentist will recommend composite fillings to correct the following:
How are composite fillings applied to the teeth?
It just takes one appointment to the dentist to have composite fillings applied to your teeth. The dentist will first remove any decayed portion of the teeth and the area will be cleaned thoroughly before the new filling is placed. Special medication is applied for added protection in case the decayed portion is near a tooth nerve. Then the composite filling is packed into the tooth after which it is shaped and polished. The dentist will also check if the shape and function of your original tooth has been restored.
Immediately following the application of composite fillings, you could experience some sensitivity to hot and cold food and drinks but this will go away after a while. Dentists will usually advice you not to use a recently filled tooth for chewing for a day or so; likewise, other care instructions will be given.
Proper oral care and hygiene, healthy eating and lifestyle habits, as well as regular visits to your dentist will help extend the life of your new composite fillings.