Composite Fillings: What Are They and How Do They Work?

If you’re considering a dental filling, you may wonder about the different types available. One of the most commonly used types is a composite filling. 

Composite fillings are made from a mix of materials, including plastic and glass, and are designed to match the natural color of your teeth.

Composite fillings are also very durable and can last for many years, making them an excellent option for many people. In this article, you’ll learn all you need to know about composite fillings, including what they are and how they work. You’ll also learn to decide if they’re the correct type of filling for you. Read on to learn more!

What Are Composite Fillings?

Composite fillings are a type of dental filling used to repair damaged areas of a tooth. The filling is designed to match your natural tooth color, so it’s less noticeable than other fillings.

A composite filling is made from a mixture of materials, including plastic and glass. Most composite fillings are placed in a dentist’s office and can last for many years. If you have a small cavity in your tooth and the surrounding tissue is healthy, you may be able to get a composite filling.

However, a composite filling is not appropriate for treating cavities that penetrate the tooth’s outer layer (the enamel) and reach the tooth’s inner layer (the dentin). In these situations, a dentist will probably suggest a more invasive treatment, like a crown.

How Do Composite Fillings Work?

A composite filling is designed to fill in the gap caused by a cavity in your tooth. If a tooth has a large cavity, your dentist may recommend that you get a crown instead. A cavity is caused by a buildup of plaque on the tooth’s surface.

When you don’t brush and floss regularly and adequately, plaque can build up and form a hard substance called tartar. This tartar buildup can irritate your gums and lead to a cavity.

The cavity can expand until it reaches the tooth’s inner layer and can penetrate through its pulp, which contains blood vessels and nerves. If you leave a cavity untreated, the tooth can break because the weakened tooth is at risk of being broken.

Benefits of Composite Fillings

Durability

One of the most significant benefits of composite fillings is their durability. Once a composite filling is placed, it can often last for many years.

Matching your tooth’s appearance

One of the advantages of composite fillings is that they’re made with materials that closely match the natural color of your teeth, so they’re less noticeable than other types of fillings.

Quick and easy

Another benefit of composite fillings is that they’re quick and easy to place. When your dentist places a composite filling, it will only take about 15 minutes.

What Is The Process For Getting A Composite Filling?

First, your dentist will thoroughly examine the affected tooth and surrounding teeth to determine the extent and location of the damage. Your dentist will also assess the level of gum inflammation and note any other issues with the surrounding teeth and gums.

Next, your dentist will remove any excess decay and clean the tooth and the area around it. The dentist will then apply a unique bonding material inside the tooth to ensure the filling will stay in place.

Finally, the dentist will apply a special liquid composite material that will harden as it sets and form a firm, durable filling inside the tooth. The entire process only takes about 15 minutes.

How Long Do Composite Fillings Last?

Composite fillings can last for many years, sometimes even decades. However, you can help extend the longevity of your fillings by maintaining good oral hygiene, including regular brushing and flossing.

It’s important to note that no filling can last forever. Once a cavity has been treated, the surrounding area will likely remain weak. As a result, you must ensure that your fillings are checked and retreated by a dentist as needed.

Risks Of Composite Fillings

Like any other type of dental filling, a composite filling does come with some risks. For instance, it’s possible for the filling to become loose over time. This may cause the material to break apart and fall out of the tooth. It’s also possible for bacteria to build up underneath the filling, which can lead to an infection.

If you notice any signs of a loose or decaying filling, such as a foul smell or pain, you should make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. Another potential risk of composite fillings is that they may discolor over time.

While the material is designed to match your teeth’ natural color closely, it can change color as it ages.

How Much Do Composite Fillings Cost?

The cost of composite fillings can vary widely. The price you’ll pay for dental work depends on various factors, including location, the dentist’s experience, reputation, and the materials used.

You can also factor in how often you go to the dentist and whether you visit a general dentist or a specialist. Generally, you can pay between $300 and $500 for a single filling.

However, if your dentist recommends multiple fillings, the price will likely be higher.

How To Care For Your Composite Fillings

Since composite fillings are made from artificial materials, you need to take special care of them. It would be best if you were also careful to avoid damaging them. Avoid foods and beverages that can damage your fillings. 

For example, you should avoid biting into ice, hard candy, and tough foods like steak or lobster with your teeth.

Brush and floss regularly.

You’ll also want to brush and floss regularly to avoid plaque buildup, which can cause new cavities and damage the areas around your fillings.

Get regular dental checkups.

Last but not least, you should make sure you get regular dental checkups, including teeth cleanings, to help prevent damage to your fillings.

Alternatives To Composite Fillings

If you have a large cavity that reaches the tooth’s pulp, your dentist may recommend getting a dental root canal. A root canal removes the tooth’s pulp and kills bacteria, restoring the tooth and helping to prevent infection.

However, root canals are invasive procedures and come with a risk of complications. If you have a small cavity that doesn’t reach the tooth’s pulp, your dentist may recommend getting a dental filling. 

If you want to avoid getting a dental filling, consider dental crowns. Dental crowns are another way to treat the damage caused by large cavities that don’t reach the tooth’s pulp.

Crowns are a type of dental restoration placed on the tooth’s outside. Unlike fillings, which are placed on the inside of the tooth, crowns don’t require a root canal.

Conclusion

Composite fillings are a popular and effective way to repair damage to your teeth. These fillings are made from materials that closely match your teeth’ color and are durable, so they’re less noticeable than other types of fillings.

A composite filling is quick and easy to place and has a low risk of complications. You should brush and floss regularly and make regular dental visits to help maintain your fillings and keep your teeth healthy.

Visit Your Dentist At Scottsdale Dental Care Now!

Visit your dentist at Scottsdale Dental Center at least once every six months to keep enjoying your favorite candy bar!

At the heart of our dental clinic is a team of friendly experts committed to your ultimate comfort and oral health. We treat each patient as unique and ensure that each therapy fits your needs.

As part of our dedication to providing each patient with attentive, individualized care, we want to promote patient dialogue. Please know that we are here to offer exceptional patient care and that we appreciate the confidence you have put in us.

While there are many different reasons why you should visit your dentist at Scottsdale Dental Center, one of the main concerns is dental care. It’s easy to forget about dental hygiene when eating our favorite foods, but that also affects our teeth and overall health. You can ensure that your teeth stay healthy and strong by brushing twice daily and having regular dental check-ups.

You can make an appointment online or by calling (480) 949-5727 now! You can also visit our clinic at 7600 E Camelback Rd Suite #10, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, United States.

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