This is a tooth-coloured restorative material used to fill decaying or broken tooth/teeth.
It has the unique property of blending with the natural colour of the tooth, therefore, concealing the filling.
Composite fillings are effective for repairing chipped or cracked teeth because they coalesce in with your tooth, giving you a natural look.
It is a very Conservative filling because it requires minimal preparation of the tooth for its placement.
When you present with a cavity on your tooth/teeth to the dental clinic. The dentist removes the decayed and weak tooth materials from your tooth/teeth and uses a filling to cover or ‘fill’ the area where the decayed tooth material was.
Traditionally, fillings were a silver-coloured material, known as amalgam, that were quite visible in contrast to the shade of a natural tooth. Over time, other options were developed, one of which was composite.
Composite fillings are a tooth-coloured mix of plastic and ceramic, making them an excellent option for teeth that are exposed or visible when you talk or smile.
Tooth areas that sustain heavy use, such as the chewing surfaces of molars, are typically not good candidates for a composite filling.
Advantages of composite
- Composite fillings blend seamlessly with the natural teeth, making it virtually invisible.
- The material is slightly flexible resulting in reduced drilling, and preserving more of your natural tooth.
- The resin material in composite fillings creates a strong bond to your tooth.
- They are durable and can withstand moderate pressure and usage.
- They are well-suited to small fillings and repairs.
- Composite can also be used to handle other cosmetic alterations, such as changing the colour or shape of your teeth.
- usually can be completed in one visit
- Resists fracture
- It can be used to fix minor flaws and larger damage
- Only short-lived temperature sensitivity after the procedure is experienced.
- It is safe both to the body and the environment.
Composite fillings shortcomings
- shorter lifespan than amalgam fillings
- generally costs more than amalgam fillings.
- can take longer to apply because of the layers
- teeth need to be very dry during placing
- Requires professionalism in placing.
Composite filling procedure
Unless there are special circumstances, the process of getting a composite filling is fairly straightforward and can be finished in one visit.
- Your dentist may start by selecting the shade of composite to use in your filling at the beginning of your visit. match early on, before your teeth and mouth dry out, which may affect the brightness of your teeth.
- You’ll get a shot of a
- The dentist will drill into your tooth enamel and remove the decayed part of your tooth.
- They’ll clean and dry the area and prepare the tooth. With more extensive damage, this might entail some tooth shaving.
- The dentist will etch and bond the tooth.
- They’ll begin layering the composite material into the hole in your tooth. The dentist will use a light to cure the composite filling and get it to set. Since the composite is applied in layers, the light will be used to cure each layer before going on to the next.
- The dentist will shape and contour the tooth, then polish it.
- Your dentist will check your bite to make sure you’re comfortable with the restoration.
Afterwards, you might have a little short-lived sensitivity to heat and cold, but it should go away pretty quickly.
Alternative dental filling options
Different materials can be used to fill a tooth aside from composite. Each of them has a specific indication and advantage.The possible replacement for composite are;
- Amalgam filling.
- Gold restoration.
- Silver restoration.
- Glass Ionomer Cement.
- Reinforced zinc oxide eugenol.
- Crown etc.