You might be familiar with dental fillings if you’ve ever had a cavity. In that case, you will agree with us when we say that they are no laughing matter. Though with modern medical technologies, it may not be that painful any longer, it definitely is uncomfortable. But these little wonders of modern dentistry are surely effective and helpful to those in need.
While Gardner Smiles offers various types of tooth fillings like gold, porcelain, silver, amalgam, composite and plastic, the composite filling option has become very popular. This blog will shed light on everything you need to know about composite fillings. So, dive in:
What is a Composite Filling?
A composite dental filling, in simple terms, is a dental filling that blends with your natural teeth. For a considerable time in the past, people had gold or silver fillings that were quite noticeable, even though equally effective, especially as front tooth fillings. With the developments in medical science came composite filling- essentially made from resin that takes the same color as your natural teeth, and these became an instant hit.
In addition to restoring functionality to your tooth, composite fillings improve your smile’s appearance without leaving any traces of tooth decay. It is almost as if there never was any tooth damage! The damaged area of the tooth is grooved out and filled with a resin composite filling to achieve a perfectly mended smile.
A composite filling, even though long-lasting and designed to face the stress levels of natural teeth, is not forever. It may end up damaged or even fall out. But fret not! These are easily replaceable with a simple visit to your trusted dental clinic. Make sure you don’t leave it untreated, as it can result in infections.
What Are Composite Fillings Made Of?
Composite fillings are popular because of the versatility, strength and naturalness they bring to the table and are a common solution in cases such as:
- Damaged teeth through accident, injury or trauma
- Teeth that have decayed
- Teeth are worn from bruxism
But don’t you wonder what these miraculous fillings are made of? Well, composite filling mixtures are a blend of glass or quartz filler in a resin medium. Filler particles give the material its strength, while resin bonds the material to the tooth structure. The composition of resin and filler may vary across various dental clinics, but they primarily consist of similar materials. For resins, the most common material is acrylics or methacrylates, while the filler consists of materials like glass, quartz or ceramic. The material also contains additives like pigments and opacifiers to control the color and opacity of the material.
The color and opacity pigments are added as per your tooth color to give the most natural feel possible. Its natural feel makes it more appealing, especially when used for front tooth fillings to maintain your smile’s aesthetics.
Now that we have a basic idea about composite dental filling let us take a look at what to expect from the actual procedure.
Composite Filling Procedure
Getting a composite filling for your decayed tooth is not a difficult process. It is actually quite straightforward. Below is a step-by-step process of what you can expect from a composite dental filling procedure:
- The dentist will first administer a local anesthetic to numb the area around the tooth to be treated.
- In the next step, your dentist will analyze the decay and remove the damaged portion of your teeth. After removing the decayed portion, they will then shape your remaining tooth to create an optimal surface for bonding the composite material.
- After this, your teeth will undergo etching, which basically means roughing up the surface of your tooth to allow easy and strong bonding of the material.
- To ensure a perfect fit, the filling is made according to the shape of your tooth and the area it will fill/cover. Afterward, the composite filling is placed securely to ensure a natural appearance and function.
- As the last step, the dentist will check your bite to ensure the filling does not interfere with your teeth fitting together. If necessary, they will make the necessary adjustments.
Getting the composite dental filling is just one step of the procedure. In order to ensure the filling has settled properly, you must take proper care following this procedure.
Do’s And Don’ts of Composite Filling Aftercare
Tooth fillings are not permanent but have a very long life. But to ensure its longevity, there are some do’s and don’ts that you should follow:
- Brush your teeth regularly twice a day and floss at least once daily to maintain good dental hygiene.
- Use a soft-bristle brush to ensure minimum damage to your teeth.
- As part of the Guide to Dental Examination and Cleaning, ensure that regular dental check-ups are scheduled as it help detect any potential problems with your fillings or any other dental problem.
- Don’t chew on your nails or use your teeth to open packages or bottles with teeth having fillings, as it can damage the filling.
- You should avoid taking anything too hot or cold until you have completely recovered from the numbness. Since you can’t feel the sensation in your mouth, extreme temperatures can damage your filling or burn your mouth.
- Don’t delay any dental treatment or issues, as they may develop into more serious conditions.
After getting a clear idea of what a composite dental filling entails at the dental clinic of Gardner Smiles, it is now time to address some frequently asked questions related to a composite filling.
Q1. Can I Get A Composite Filling On My Front Tooth?
Yes, it is possible to put composite fillings in a patient’s front teeth. Fillings for front teeth are generally needed when they sustain damage or chips. In any scenario, the colour and contour of the filling in your front tooth will match your natural teeth.
Q2. Can I Brush My Teeth After Filling?
Yes, of course. You can brush your teeth starting the next morning. In fact, it is advised to brush your teeth normally- twice a day with soft bristle brushes.
Q3. Does Getting A Composite Filling Hurt?
No, getting a composite filling is not at all painful. The anesthetic used during the start of the procedure numbs the affected area and ensures that you don’t feel any pain. You might get a stuffed feeling in your mouth, which can be a bit disorienting, but it is a routine part of the procedure. If you feel any pain, it is advisable to inform your doctor immediately.
Q4. Can I Get My Filling Whitened?
Tooth-whitening has no effect on your filling. It will whiten your enamel but leave the filling as it is. However, this does not mean that you cannot go for a teeth whitening procedure. Connect with your dentist to know more about the whitening procedure.