Composite Tooth-Colored Fillings
Composite fillings are tooth-colored fillings that are used to fill small to medium cavities in the front or back teeth. Because of their ability to blend well with existing teeth, they are the preferred choice when filling cavities in visible teeth, but they are also strong enough to withstand constant chewing force and can be used in the rear teeth as well. Composite fillings are sometimes also referred to as white, plastic, or tooth-colored fillings.
Did You Know?
Composite fillings have many benefits, including their ability to blend with surrounding teeth, they provide additional support for your teeth by bonding to the tooth structure, they require less natural tooth material needing to be removed, and they are able to be used to repair chipped, worn, or broken teeth. In addition, composite fillings will not corrode over time.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Am I a candidate for composite fillings?
You may be a candidate for a composite filling if you have a small to medium cavity that requires filling. You may also be a candidate for composite fillings if you are looking for a filling with a more natural appearance or if you have any type of known metal allergy. To find out for sure if you are an ideal candidate for a composite filling, schedule a consultation with Bethesda Family Dentistry today!
How do composite fillings compare to amalgam fillings?
Both composite fillings are capable of filling your cavity and preventing further decay, however they are two different materials that offer different benefits and drawbacks. Composite fillings are known for their ability to blend well with existing teeth, preserve the natural tooth structure, and their easy bonding application. However, composite fillings do generally require replacement after 5-7 years and their application takes longer. Amalgam fillings, on the other hand, have an established reputation for being more economical, durable, and longer lasting. However, amalgam fillings are highly noticeable due to their metallic coloring and some people may be prone to allergic reactions brought on by the types of metals used.
How are composite fillings placed?
Composite fillings are placed much like any other filling. First, your mouth will be numbed to prevent you from feeling any discomfort. Then, any decayed tissue will be removed from your tooth and the remaining cavity will be thoroughly cleaned. Once the decay has been removed and the cavity has been cleaned, our dentists will begin filling the cavity by layering the composite and hardening each layer with a special light. After the layers are applied and hardened, the filling will be shaped and polished so that is resembles the surrounding tooth.
Do I need to follow any special instructions after my composite filling is placed?
Since composite fillings are hardened with light during their placement, they are entirely ready for use once your appointment is completed. This means that you will have no special instructions to follow and can immediately return to your usual activities. You may, however, experience a brief period of sensitivity following your procedure. This is to be expected for a few days, but if it continues for longer than a week, call our office for further instructions.
How long will my composite filling last?
You can expect your composite filling to last an average of five years. However, if well taken care of, composite fillings have the potential to last longer. To keep your composite filling in good shape, be sure to brush twice a day, floss once a day, and schedule your dental checkups and cleanings semi-annually with Bethesda Family Dentistry. You will also want to avoid behaviors that can damage your filling such as ice chewing, nail-biting, or using your teeth as an opener.
Will my composite filling ever fall out?
If your composite filling is nearing the end of its lifespan or if you have been practicing destructive behaviors, then there is a possibility your composite filling could fall out. To prevent your composite filling from falling out, be sure to attend regular dental checkups at Bethesda Family Dentistry. Our dentists can identify possible complications with your composite filling and take care of them before they become a problem for you.
When do I get my composite filling replaced?
If you are experiencing sudden tooth sensitivity or pain, then it may mean you need to have your composite filling replaced. The best way to know for sure is to visit our office for an examination where our dentists will use a special tool to probe the borders of your filling to make sure it is intact. If they find that the borders are excessively loose or worn, they will recommend a replacement.
If your composite filling needs to be replaced, it will be completely removed and a new filling will be put in its place. However, you may also simply need your filling repaired, which can consist of reshaping the existing filling or additional layers of composite for strength. In cases involving composite fillings on your molars, they are generally repaired instead of replaced to save the tooth’s natural structure.
How much will my composite filling cost?
Your composite filling will cost around $135-$240, depending on the location and size of your filling. You may be able to obtain full or partial coverage for your composite filling depending on your dental insurance, however most dental insurance companies will only offer a partial allowance for composite fillings. Bethesda Family Dentistry will help you cooperate with your dental insurance company to determine your level of coverage beforehand and maximize your benefits.
For a qualified, experienced, and caring approach to crowns & bridges, schedule a consultation with one of our dentists at either our Ferndale Bethesda Family Dentistry office in Bethesda or our Executive Bethesda Family Dentistry office in North Bethesda.