What Are Composite Fillings?
Composite fillings are one of the various types of dental fillings you can get. A composite tooth filling mixture is typically made up of powdered glass or white composite resin. This type of dental filling is recommended for people who do not require a lot of filling.
Dental composite fillings are a way to restore the structure of a tooth that has a cavity. This procedure is also used to repair worn down or cracked teeth. Dental fillings are also an excellent way to prevent any food build-up or decay that can occur in place of a missing tooth.
Composite fillings are available at a slightly expensive cost. For patients with low-to-moderate disease risk and for those who do not consume hard-to-chew or sticky foods, composite fillings are a suitable option.
Reasons for Composite Fillings
There are plenty of reasons why many patients opt for composite tooth fillings. Here are some composite fillings advantages:
- These fillings can blend in with the natural color of your teeth.
- Composite fillings are also popular because they keep metals, such as gold, mercury, and silver, away from your mouth. They’re a more reliable option for people who fear metal allergies from metal fillings.
- Composite fillings do not require your dentist to scrape away too much of your natural tooth structure. Your dentist only has to remove the damaged and decaying part of the teeth and fill in the gap. This helps to retain much of the original and natural tooth structure.
- Due to its bonding process, the fillings also strengthen weaker areas of the teeth, giving more stability.
- They are gentle on the gums and fragile tissues, as compared to other fillings.
- The application of composite filling doesn’t exert too much force on the tooth.
How Are Composite Fillings Placed?
The procedure to get a composite filling is a bit time-consuming. Your dentist may first give you local anesthesia and isolate your tooth to prepare you for the process. These are the composite filling steps you should know about:
Selecting the Composite Shade
The first step is to identify what composite color will look most natural with your teeth. Your dentist will go through the collection of sample composite fillings and choose the one that matches your natural teeth the most. While choosing the right shade, you must be mindful of the light’s effect- the color of a composite under a lightbulb and under sunlight will be different.
Cleaning the Tooth
No filling will hold in place if the tooth isn’t cleaned properly before application. Your dentist must clean away all the plaque, tartar, and build-up to see all the cavities that require filling.
Drilling and Trimming
Under normal conditions, you can skip this step. But sometimes, the structure of your tooth makes it difficult to fill in the composite material properly. To tackle this problem, your dentist will need to trim the tooth to make appropriate space.
In this step, your dentist conditions your tooth using a mildly acidic substance. This is to prepare the tooth for the bonding procedure.
Applying the Bonding Agent
The dentist will then start applying the liquefied plastic using an applicator to fill in the cavities.
Curing the Bonding Agent
The next step in the procedure is to let the agent settle in place. A curing light is shined on the filling, which activates a catalyst in it. This will cause the filling to harden and attach itself firmly to your teeth. A micromechanical is formed between the agent and the etched tooth surface.
After the restoration, your dentist will proceed to add more layers of the composite agent. This is done to give the tooth a final shape and structure. The agent has a paste-like consistency, so your dentist will pat it into place until it settles into the desired shape.
Trimming the Restoration
After your composite filling is applied and hardened, your dentist will trim it to suit the shape of your tooth and support your bite.
Checking your Bite
After shaping, your dentist will make sure that your bite isn’t affected by determining your bite with a carbon paper. If needed, your dentist will further shape and sharpen the filling.
The final step is to polish the surface and make it evenly shiny.
How Long Do Composite Fillings Last?
If you take adequate care of your fillings and visit the dentist regularly, they can last a considerably long time.
Composite fillings last 5-10 years on average. After they have sufficiently worn down, you can get new fillings from your dentist.
Are Composite Fillings Safe?
A lot of people ask are composite fillings toxic? The main component of composite resin fillings is the monomer Bisphenol-A. This plastic compound is often linked to toxicity in the system and is also associated with several risks, such as an imbalance in hormone levels, brain issues, heart issues, and cancer. However, the levels of BPA in composite fillings are quite low. Therefore, they do not pose any real risk to the patient’s life.
How does treatment work:
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frequently asked question
Composite fillings have the advantage of hardening instantly. On the day you get your fillings done, you should eat soft, chewy foods and drink lots of fluid. Avoid anything hot, since it can harm the plastic component of the filling. After the anesthetic effects have worn off, you can resume your regular diet.
You can brush your teeth a short while after getting a composite filling. After the substance has hardened, there’s no real threat to the fillings. However, you must be gentle while brushing and flossing. Use a brush with soft bristles and gently clean the filling when you need to.