Composite fillings are the filling material that is used to fill in a tooth following the repair of decay known as a cavity. This material is a mixture of glass or quartz blended with a resin. It is a strong durable product that is tooth-colored to blend in with the remaining natural portion of your tooth.
In the past, dentists preferred the silver amalgam filling material, but composite filling has advanced. We now consider composite fillings to be durable and resistant to fracture in small to medium size restorations when used with normal use and chewing pressure. An additional advantage to composite fillings is that we are able to remove less tooth structure when our dentists, Doctors Gregorin, prepares the tooth, and resulting in a smaller filling than with amalgam. We find it to be an advantage that this material bonds to the tooth, unlike amalgam.
This process begins with our dentist seeing a need to fill a space for the health of a tooth. First, Dr. Gregorin or Gregorin II will answer any questions you have and then will apply anesthetic to the tooth requiring the composite filling. This may be due to decay or is sometimes used on fractured teeth. We will thoroughly remove any decay that is present preparing the tooth to successfully bond with the composite filling material. The placement of this material requires that the tooth be kept dry during the entire process, so you may have a dental tool, referred to as a sucker, in your mouth for an extended time. Once applied, the material dries and hardens quickly. A blue light will be used to turn the composite material from soft to hard and durable. This is a painless procedure that should last for several years. The life expectancy can vary greatly depending on where it is in your mouth and how heavy your bite is.
Yes, we have found this to be a very durable product. We commonly use composite filling material to repair front teeth that have chipped or worn. When possible, bonding composite filling to front teeth for repair is generally much less expensive than veneers or crowns. However, bonding typically does not last as long as veneers or crowns.
Patients report sensitivity for a little while, it should pass quickly, but if it persists for a week or more it is important to call our office so we can examine to tooth and determine if additional treatment is needed. Composite fillings are subject to stain and discoloration over time, some patients request new composite fillings after a period of time as a way to brighten their smile.