How Composite Fillings Can Treat Tooth Decay

How Composite Fillings Can Treat Tooth Decay from Southern Cal Smiles: Susan Fredericks, D.D.S, M.P.H. in Woodland Hills, CADental caries, commonly known as tooth decay or cavities, are a prevalent dental problem. Composite fillings are one great solution to this often painful and sensitive issue. Composite fillings work to stop tooth decay in its tracks while still allowing filling recipients to maintain a more natural-looking smile, unlike other filling types.

What is a composite filling?

Composite fillings, composite resin fillings, or white fillings are all names for a specific type of filling that dentists use to treat tooth decay. They are made by filling plastic resin with powdered glass, quartz, or ceramic material and make a good option for small- to mid-size restorations. Composite materials are fairly strong, though not quite as strong as amalgam. Generally, though, if properly cared for, composite resin fillings can last many years before needing replacement.

One attractive quality of composite resin fillings is their color. Unlike amalgam or gold fillings, dentists can match the color of your teeth with composite resin. This means that the presence of a filling does not have to be an obvious fact to others when you smile or laugh. It is possible to stain composite fillings though. You need to practice good oral hygiene habits, and you may want to avoid stain-causing foods, beverages, and activities.

How do composite fillings work?

Just like other filling types, dentists use composite fillings to treat tooth decay by removing the decay and putting the resin in the space left behind. When done correctly, the composite filling will replace the diseased portion of your tooth, restore it to its normal appearance and function, and prevent future decay from developing there. You should be able to eat, chew, speak, laugh, brush, floss, and rinse like normal, though you will want to be careful about staining and your dentist may recommend particular kinds of toothpaste, floss, and mouthwash.

The process of getting composite fillings is a common and relatively simple procedure. First, your dentist will numb your mouth to remove the tooth decay and possibly some surrounding tissue as well. After the decayed material is removed, your dentist will clean, dry, and prepare your tooth to accept the resin. Your dentist needs to keep your tooth sufficiently dry at this point for the composite resin to work effectively. Then your dentist will fill in the hole with a specially prepared composite resin that is designed to closely match the color of your teeth. Your dentist will then cure the filling with a special blue-colored light. This curing step helps ensure the filling stays in place and can stand up to future chewing, biting, and grinding pressures. Finally, your dentist will polish your tooth, check your bite, and make sure you are satisfied with the overall feel and appearance.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Composite Fillings in Woodland Hills, CA

Conclusion

If your dentist tells you that you need a filling, ask about whether a composite filling is a good option for you. This tooth-colored resin filling can be an excellent way to keep your smile natural, healthy, and bright for years to come.

Request an appointment or call Southern Cal Smiles: Susan Fredericks, D.D.S, M.P.H. at 818-657-8055 for an appointment in our Woodland Hills office.

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