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Composite Fillings

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 best options for restoring your teeth.  Composite fillings, along with silver amalgam fillings, are the most widely used today.  Because composite fillings are tooth colored, they can be closely matched to the color of existing teeth, and are more aesthetically suited 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 have to be replaced.  They are very durable, and will last many years, giving you a long lasting, beautiful smile.

Reasons for composite fillings:

  • Chipped teeth.
  • Closing space between two teeth.
  • Cracked or broken teeth.
  • Decayed teeth.
  • Worn teeth.
How are composite fillings placed?
 
Composite fillings are usually placed in one appointment.  While the tooth is numb, your dentist will remove decay as necessary.  The space will then be thoroughly cleaned and carefully prepared before the new filling is placed.  If the decay was near the nerve (pulp) of the tooth, a special medication will be applied to encourage the tooth's pulp to heal.  The composite filling will then be precisely placed, shaped, and polished, restoring your tooth to its original shape and function.

Any filling, silver or composite may result in some sensitivity to hot and cold. Most often this will subside shortly after your tooth acclimates to the new filling. If it does not it may indicate a degenerating pulp that may require root canal therapy. The risk of this is increased as decay deepens into a tooth. 

You will be given care instructions at the conclusion of your treatment.  Good oral hygiene practices, eating habits, and regular dental visits will help prevent future decay or allow early detection, should decay occur. This allows earlier intervention and the reduced risk of pulpal involvement of the affected tooth.