Tooth fillings are used to repair teeth inflicted with decay, damage, and chips. They can also repair teeth that wear down due to involuntary clenching and grinding (Bruxism). With advances in dentistry, there has also been an improvement in the materials used for filling teeth. Composite filling is one such gift of modern dentistry. It is made from ceramic, is tooth-colored and also serves as a cosmetic replacement for traditional metal fillings. As a result, composite fillings provide natural-looking smiles and can fix mild to moderately damaged teeth.
What are the advantages of composite fillings?
- The primary advantage of composite fillings is their aesthetically pleasing appearance. Their cosmetic appeal makes them a good choice for a natural-looking smile.
- The placement of composite fillings is comparatively less invasive than traditional fillings and requires less tooth structure to be drilled out.
- Composite or tooth-colored fillings chemically bond with the natural tooth and become an integral part of its structure. Thus, improving the tooth's strength and durability.
- Composite fillings are placed in layers and each layer is hardened using a special curing light. With the curing light, the filling takes less than a minute to harden and the process is quickly completed.
- No recovery period. One can immediately resume their regular lifestyle.
- Composite fillings can easily withstand the chewing and biting forces. Teeth restored with composite fillings work and feel like natural teeth.
- Thermal stress does not disrupt the composition of composite fillings. Unlike amalgam fillings, they do not expand or contract when exposed to heat.
- They are gum and tissue friendly and do not cause irritability or sensitivity.
- Composite fillings can be easily repaired.
How are composite fillings placed?
Tooth filling placements are the most commonly performed dental restoration procedures. The placement of composite fillings especially is quick and easy. Below is a step-by-step guide to the placement of composite fillings.
The damaged tooth is examined using X-rays to determine the extent of decay or damage. If the tooth has enough structure left and the decay has not reached the roots, the dentist proceeds to the next step.
The damaged tooth and its surrounding area are numbed using a local anesthetic. It keeps you from experiencing pain or discomfort during the procedure.
In the case of decay, a dental drill is used to remove decay from the tooth.
Antimicrobials and disinfectants are used to flush the cavity and remove any trace of remaining debris. It also prevents future bacterial infestation.
If the decay is present near the tooth roots, an ionomer or resin-based liner is installed in place to protect the nerve.
The composite filling is then placed in the cavity or space left after drilling away the decay. The filling is placed in layers and each layer is hardened using a special ultraviolet light.
The filling is then shaped and the tooth is polished to make it look as natural as the surrounding teeth.
At Jones and Hindbaugh Dental, the art and technology of modern dentistry are tactfully employed to systematically restore the damage and improve the cosmetic appeal of your smile. Dr. Erica Hindbaugh Jones' and Dr. Russel Jones specialize in creating a coordinated treatment plan to give you a complete smile makeover. Book an appointment with us today for a more youthful and healthy smile.