Composite Fillings

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Composite fillings restore decayed teeth by filling small to medium dental cavities caused by decay. They are made from a dental material known as composite resin, which can be customized to match the exact color of the surrounding teeth. Composite resin can also be molded to blend in with the texture of the tooth. Since composite fillings can effectively restore decayed teeth while maintaining an aesthetically pleasing appearance, they have become increasingly popular in comparison to other types of dental fillings. 

Did You Know?

Once a composite filling has been placed, it is indistinguishable from the natural tooth structure. Because of this, composite fillings are also sometimes called tooth-colored fillings or white fillings. 

Frequently Asked Questions: 

Do I need a composite filling?

dental mirror showing upper tooth with cavity

You may need a composite filling if you have a small to medium dental cavity on one or more teeth. You may also need a composite filling if you have a worn out metal filling in need of replacement. To determine if a composite filling is right for you, schedule a consultation with Dr. Morales today. 

Are composite fillings better than other types of fillings?

Other types of fillings include gold fillings and amalgam fillings composed of various metals such as liquid mercury and a powdered alloy of silver, tin, and copper. While metal fillings were commonly used in the past because of their durability, more and more dentists are recommending composite fillings over metal fillings. This is because composite fillings preserve more of the natural tooth structure, are aesthetically pleasing, do not corrode over time, and do not expand or contract like metal fillings. Composite fillings are also ideal for individuals who have metal allergies. Overall, composite fillings are considered state of the art dental fillings. 

What can I expect when having a composite filling placed at Desert Pearl Dentistry?

curing light being used to harden a composite filling

Composite fillings are direct restorations, meaning they are entirely fabricated within the mouth and only take one dental appointment to complete. When having a composite filling placed at Desert Pearl Dentistry, you can first expect to receive dental anesthetics to keep you comfortable during the procedure. Once your mouth is numb, the affected tooth will be prepared for a composite filling by removing the decayed tissue and shaping the remaining cavity. Since composite resin is able to bond directly to the tooth enamel, most of your natural, healthy tooth structure will be preserved. Next the composite resin will be placed into the cavity and hardened in place with a special curing light. The top layer will be molded to blend in with the rest of the tooth, then it will be hardened and polished. 

Do I need to follow any special instructions after having a composite filling placed?

After having a composite filling placed, your mouth will likely still be numb for about 1-3 hours. During this time, you will want to avoid eating so that you don’t accidentally bite your lips, cheeks, or tongue. You will also want to be careful when drinking. Since composite fillings are completely hard once they have been placed, you won’t have to worry about dietary restrictions or any other special instructions. 

How long do composite fillings last?

If properly cared for, composite fillings generally last about 5-7 years. To care for your filling, you will need to brush your teeth twice a day, floss daily, and attend regular dental appointments and cleanings. It is also important to prevent your composite filling from becoming damaged. Therefore, you should also avoid behaviors such as nail biting, chewing on ice or pens, teeth grinding, or using your teeth to hold or open things.