Composite Fillings in Huntington Beach, CA
Cavities and minor fractures can cause much more significant issues if left untreated. In the past, metal restorations called amalgam fillings (or silver fillings) served a need but left many teeth discolored and strained from the wedging effect of the metal. Today, tooth-colored composite resins blend into the tooth structure and chemically bond to the tooth, providing a robust and permanent restoration.
Composites serve both functional and aesthetic roles, often at the same time. For example, a cavity invading the front of a tooth along the gum line may be visible in your smile line. By gently cleaning out the soft, discolored area and replacing it with a tooth-colored filling, the tooth is restored and looks better than ever.
Composites contain a mix of liquid resin embedded with finely ground glass particles. After being molded to the prepared tooth structure, blue light applied directly to the composite hardens the filling material within seconds. Once it’s shaped and polished to a high shine, the restoration is complete.
What are the Advantages of Composite Fillings?
Composite fillings have several advantages. First, they are relatively strong because of the high amounts of filler mixed with the resin. Second, the durability of composite fillings makes them a desirable choice for front or back teeth. Finally, a small spot of decay in your incisor or canine can be carefully removed and filled with this natural-looking filling, and you’ll never see the blemish again.
Affordability is another advantage of composite fillings. Unlike gold fillings, which can be pretty expensive, composite fillings are reasonably priced. They are also more flexible than standard amalgam fillings, so they are less likely to break under pressure.
Aesthetics is also an appealing advantage. Composite fillings closely match your real teeth’ natural color and texture, and they are a popular choice for filling cavities and chipped areas on front teeth. In addition, once applied, they are invisible, blending seamlessly with your natural teeth.
How are Composite Fillings Applied?
Composite resin fillings take about thirty minutes to place to complete the entire dental procedure during a single appointment. First, the dentist administers an anesthetic, numbing the area where the filling will go. Next, the dentist will clean the affected area of any tooth decay and remove any remnants of the old filling.
The dentist will clean the oral area again. If the nerve is close to being exposed, additional protection will protect the interior of the tooth structure from infection. Once the dentist cleans the area, they will spread the composite resin filling onto the tooth. The dentist will usually extend the filler over the tooth so it covers all four corners.
After the filling procedure, you may find your teeth sensitive to cold and hot food and drinks. This feeling will usually pass, so avoid these items for the first week afterward, then be cautious as you gradually add them back. Also, make sure that when you eat, you chew on the teeth farthest away from the site of the composite filling.
How Long Do Composite Fillings Last?
Composite fillings can last an average of six years depending on the resin and filler mixture used. In addition, these fillings are repairable, so if a piece of your composite filling breaks or falls out, contact us to arrange an appointment to repair it.
Should I Replace My Old Fillings With Composites?
Old amalgam metal fillings can last for more than fifteen years, but they may need replacement if broken or decay has crept under the edges. Replacing your metal fillings with composite fillings is an option. Composite fillings are a good replacement option for small to medium areas that may be visible. For larger sizes, such as on back molars, amalgam is a better option.
The possibility of replacing your old fillings with composite resin fillings is something you should discuss with your dentist, weighing all pros and cons.
Learn More About Composite Dental Fillings in Huntington Beach, California
Protecting your teeth and improving your smile is important to us. At TLC Family Dentistry, Dr. Sepideh Basti and the entire team dedicate themselves to helping you and your family achieve optimum dental health, all in a pain-free, anxiety-free family environment.
When you’re ready to learn more about composite fillings or any of our dental services, visit our website. We have a wealth of information available to help you explore your dental options. If you’re ready to get started on your dental health journey, call us at 714-897-8980 to schedule a consultation and evaluation of your smile.