Tooth Colored Fillings
Composite fillings, also known as white, plastic, or tooth-colored fillings, use a tooth-colored resin made up of powdered glass and plastic resin to fill in cavities, which gives the filling a natural appearance and enables it to blend with the surrounding tooth structure. Composite fillings are commonly used in the front teeth, which are immediately visible, however because of their ability to withstand chewing force, they can also be used in the rear teeth as well.
Did You Know?
The powdered glass and plastic resin that composes composite fillings can also be used for other dental applications such as inlays, veneers, and dental crowns. Composite resin can also be used for dental bonding to improve tooth color or repair broken, cracked, chipped, or otherwise damaged teeth.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Should I get a composite filling?
You should get a composite filling if you are in need of a small to medium filling and you want to maintain the natural look of your teeth. If you have a known metal allergy, or if you are prone to allergies, you may also want to consider a composite filling since they do not use metal. Some other possible benefits of composite fillings include their ability to strengthen teeth through their bonding process, their ability to spare natural tooth structure during placement, and their ability to be used to fix broken, worn, or chipped teeth. To find out if composite fillings are right for you, schedule a consultation with Fox Dental today!
What is the difference between a composite filling and an amalgam filling?
Composite fillings are made out of powdered glass and plastic resin, blend in with the existing tooth structure, are able to preserve the natural tooth structure by bonding to the tooth, and are able to be used on allergy-prone individuals. However, composite fillings also take longer to place, have to be replaced more frequently, and can be more expensive than amalgam fillings. Amalgam fillings are composed of various metals, are highly durable, last a long time, and are more affordable. However, they have a metal appearance and allergy-prone individuals may not be able to use them.
What happens when getting a composite filling?
When you get a composite filling, your mouth will first be numbed to prevent you from feeling any pain or discomfort during the procedure. The first step to placing a composite filling is to remove the decayed tissue and prepare the remaining cavity. To prepare the cavity, it must be properly cleaned to ensure that all the bacteria has been removed with the decayed tissue. Once the cavity is prepared, our dentists will place a composite resin in layers, hardening each individual layer before placing the next. Once all the layers have been placed and hardened, then the filling can be shaped and polished so that it blends in with the tooth.
What happens after I get a composite filling?
After your composite filling is placed, you will be able to continue with your normal activities. Because the filling is hardened during your procedure effectively sealing it, you will have no special guidelines to follow. However, you may notice that your teeth are sensitive to hot and cold temperatures in the days directly following your procedure. This is normal for a few days after your procedure, but if the sensitivity lasts beyond a week, call our office for further instruction.
woman in dental chair
How long do composite fillings last?
Composite fillings usually last about 5 years. If well taken care of, however, they do have the potential to last longer. To get your composite filling to last longer, be sure to practice good oral hygiene by brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, and visiting Fox Valley Dental at least twice a year for your regular dental checkup and professional cleaning. Also, to avoid damaging your composite filling, be sure to avoid nail-biting, ice chewing, and opening packages with your teeth.
Do composite fillings fall out?
Composite fillings can fall out, but this generally only happens when they have worn out. Regular dental checkups at Fox Valley Dental allow our dentists to monitor the wearing of your composite fillings so that we can replace them before they reach the point where they fall out. Because of this, we recommend regular dental checkups twice a year.
How can I get my composite filling replaced or repaired before it falls out?
To prevent your composite fillings from falling out, we highly recommend having them replaced or repaired beforehand. Regularly visiting our office allows us to consistently examine the borders of your filling for signs of wear that could indicate your filling needs to be replaced.
If we find that your composite filling needs to be replaced, we will remove the existing filling and then place a new filling. If your filling needs to be repaired, we will usually add and shape layers of composite as needed. Usually, if you have a composite filling on your molar, we recommend repairing the filling instead of replacing it. This is because replacement can cause a loss of natural tooth structure, especially in molars.
tooth in one hand and coins in the other
How much do composite fillings cost?
Composite fillings cost an average of $135-$240 per filling. The exact cost of a composite filling will depend on the location and size of the filling. If you have dental insurance, you may be able to obtain some level of coverage, especially if the tooth requiring the filling is in the front of the mouth. However, some insurance companies do not provide coverage for composite fillings and instead recommend amalgam fillings.
If you are interested in getting a composite filling, schedule a consultation with Dr. Harsh Vardhan Sinha.