Composite Fillings

If you need a filling on a back (posterior) tooth, you may have a choice in the materials used to restore that tooth to better health. A tooth-colored material called composite resin is now being used to repair broken down or decayed teeth. Composite comes in a variety of colors and can be matched to your tooth’s color. To restore your tooth with this material, your dentist will first apply a bonding adhesive to the area to be restored. Then, your dentist will place the tooth-colored resin and sculpt it to match the color and shape of the surrounding teeth. Your dentist uses a bonding light to fix the resin in place. Finally, the composite is polished.

These invisible fillings are often preferred because your dentist can save more of the natural tooth structure with this technique versus techniques that require other materials. Although composites are preferable for the obvious cosmetic reasons, other filling materials may be used depending on the extent and location of the decayed tooth. Your dentist can determine if another material, such as amalgam or gold, would serve you better.

After care instructions for compsite fillings

Composite fillings may be sensitive to bite and to temperature, especially cold. Sensitivity is usually the most notable 12-24 hours after the anesthetic wears off. Your bite seems fine right now but your sense of touch will be much finer when the anesthetic wears off. If you need us to adjust your bite, please call to schedule a time. It is a very simple procedure and will take only a few minutes.

You may chew on composite restoration as soon as the anesthetic wears off as these restorations harden right away. The gum tissue could have been irritated during the procedure and may be sore for a few days together with the anesthetic injection site.

The finished restoration may be contoured slightly different and have a different texture than the original tooth. Your tongue will magnify this difference but you will become accustomed to it in a few days. Children should be observed until the anesthetic wears off. Due to the strange feeling of the anesthetic, many children will chew the inside of their lips, cheeks, or tongue, which can cause injury.

Composite Bonding

Composite bonding is a plastic material called resin. The bonding process involves etching the tooth surface with a conditioning solution that allows the bonding material (composite resins) to adhere. To match your own teeth, your dentist carefully blends various color resins so the bonded tooth will look completely natural. After application, your dentist will contour the resin into the proper shape and harden it using a special light or chemical process. Your dentist then smoothes and polishes the bonded tooth so that it appears natural.

What can composite bonding accomplish?

  • Closes spaces between teeth.
  • Lengthens small or misshapen teeth.
  • Replaces fractured edges of front teeth.
  • Masks unsightly stains or other discolorations.
  • Takes one appointment to complete the procedure.

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