What is Composite Tooth Filling: Procedure And Benefits

Composite Tooth Filling

Allwyn Dental

February 24, 2023

Inevitably, most people develop a cavity that requires dental fillings. Although they are common, most people do not know how to choose from the many available options.

Tooth fillings are a valuable tool for restoring the strength and beauty of your teeth. A filling is a type of dental restoration that, when placed in a prepared cavity, not only restores the original shape and strength of the tooth but also helps protect it from further decay.

Fillings are of a variety of materials, each of which has its own set of advantages, such as improving the appearance of your teeth, increasing the strength and durability of your teeth, and protecting your teeth from further damage. Composite fillings are the most common and preferred option nowadays.

So, What is a Composite Filling?  

A composite filling is used to repair a tooth with decay, cracks, fractures, or other damage. The decayed or affected tooth portion will be removed and replaced with a filling material.

There are numerous filling materials available, each with its own set of benefits and drawbacks.

The composite filling material is tooth-colored and can be almost accurately matched to the color of existing teeth, making them more cosmetically suited to be used on front teeth or more visible areas of the mouth.

Some questions coming to mind regarding composite filling are:

  • What does a composite filling look like?
  • Does the filling match with your other teeth?
  • How long do composite fillings last?

Well, a composite filling before going in your mouth looks like a plasticine putty, but once the dentist is through with the procedure, it looks exactly like your original tooth. Also, these fillings are strong and durable, giving you beautiful and confident smiles for a long time. For people looking for a specific answer on how long fillings last, the theoretical lifespan of composite fillings is between 5-7 years, but they generally last much longer.

The Material of Composite Fillings

Tooth-colored composite filling appears more natural than other available options. The composite material is customized to match the shade of your teeth, making them almost virtually unnoticeable to anyone who looks into your mouth.

But what exactly is that tooth-colored substance? It’s a combination of plastic (acrylic) resin and powdered glass filler. Dentists use these fillings for a wide range of dental restorations, including fillings, veneers, inlay, and crowns.

Dentists may also use this composite resin material to repair or restore damaged or chipped teeth.

The next question on your mind will definitely be about the advantages of these plastic fillings above the other fillings.

Advantages of Composite Fillings:

Composite front tooth fillings are very popular among dentists and patients alike for many reasons, the primary reason being that it is tooth-colored and can fix various cosmetic issues.

Some other advantages of composite filling material are as follows:

Composite Requires Less Drilling 

Composite materials require the dentist to drill less of the patient’s tooth than other fillings. This is because the filling bonds more easily with the natural tooth, strengthening it. Most people prefer less drilling, but it is especially beneficial for those who are afraid of the dentist and want the procedures to go as quickly and smoothly as possible.

Composite Hardens Fast 

Individuals who lead busy lives and do not have time to perch in the dentist’s chair for hours frequently prefer composite dental materials. Once the composite material is in place, the dentist will use a special “blue wand” light to help the composite material harden quickly. In fact, the filling is frequently completely hardened in under 60 seconds.

Composite Materials Assist in Reducing Tooth Sensitivity

After any dental procedure, it is common to experience some tooth sensitivity. With individuals getting a composite filling, the sensitivity is almost negligible. The composite resin insulates the teeth receiving the fillings, thus safeguarding them from temperature changes.

Composite Materials Strengthen the Teeth

The composite material can be applied as an onlay or as an overlay. When the composite material is ready to be applied to the patient’s tooth, the bonding agent is applied directly to the natural tooth. The filling is then inserted, and once hardened, the direct bond strengthens the tooth overall.

Composite Fills can Repair Chips and Cracks 

Most people imagine filling in a cavity when they think of dental fillings. Composite resin does work to fill in cavities, of course, but it can also fill in tiny chips or cracks that patients sometimes get in their teeth.

A Composite Filling is Repairable

Chewing or grinding your teeth may cause the filling to deteriorate over time. If this happens, metal fillings have to be removed entirely and replaced. Composite, on the other hand, is more practical because it is easy to clean and repair.

In fact, if a patient needs a metal filling removed, the dentist will often replace it with composite resin rather than another material.

Step-by-step Procedure of Composite Filling 

 So, after completing the checkup, your dentists suggest getting a filling.

Now what?

Your dentist may book your next appointment for the procedure to get enough time to complete the procedure effectively.

Anaesthesia may or may not be needed, depending on the size of the filling. If the cavity is small, you may get away with it. The procedure usually requires a lot of washing and drying of the tooth, making it sensitive; hence, it is general advice to opt for a small dose to take off the edge.

Here is a step-by-step procedure of a composite filling process:

Stage 1 – the dentist removes the decay and shapes the cavity to prepare the tooth for filling.

Stage 2 – the filling site is washed and cleaned using etch.

Stage 3 – Application of bond layer. It acts as an undercoat and enhances the sticking strength of the composite to the tooth. A blue light serves to set it up.

Stage 4 – This is the stage when composite layers are placed and set under the blue light.

Stage 5 – this is the final step of the procedure. The filled tooth is polished and blended in with the rest of the teeth.

Stage 6 – the dentist will then check your bite to make sure that you are comfortable with the restoration.

After the procedure, you may experience some sensitivity to hot and cold after the procedure, but it is temporary and will go away quickly.

Do Composite Fillings Hurt?

The foremost question in the mind of every person going for dental treatment is, “will it hurt?”

Well, the actual procedure starts after a dose of anesthesia, thus making the procedure painless. After the effects of the anesthesia have diminished, the person may feel some sensitivity or uneasiness, which is entirely normal and goes away in a few days.

Schedule Your Next Dental Visit Today

We are appreciative of modern dentistry that provides patients with a variety of dental treatment options.

You, too, can get answers to all your questions regarding dental treatments and reap the benefits of a composite filling, including a beautiful smile, by scheduling an appointment with the team of specialists at Allwyn Dental.

Most patients and procedures require only one visit, which lasts about an hour.