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Composite -Tooth Colored Fillings

Composite Filling Material

Traditional dental restoratives or fillings, are made of different materials including gold, porcelain,
and composite materials. The strength and durability of these materials work for restored teeth that must withstand forces from chewing, often in the back of the mouth.

Newer dental fillings are made of ceramic and plastic compounds that imitate the appearance of natural teeth. These compounds, often called composite resins, are usually used on the front teeth where a natural appearance is important, but they can also be used on the back teeth depending on the location and extent of the tooth decay.

What’s right for me?

Before your treatment begins, Dr. Giaquinto will discuss all of your options with you and help you choose the best filling for your particular case.  In preparation for this discussion it may be helpful to understand the two basic types of dental fillings — direct and indirect.

  • Direct fillings are fillings placed immediately into a prepared cavity in a single visit.  They include glass ionomers, resin ionomers, and composite (resin) fillings.  The dentist prepares the tooth, places the filling, and adjusts it in one appointment.
  • Indirect fillings generally require two or more visits.  They include inlays, onlays, veneers, crowns, and bridges fabricated with gold, base metal alloys, ceramics, or composites. During the first visit, the dentist prepares the tooth and makes an impression of the area to be restored. The dentist then places a temporary covering over the prepared tooth. The impression is sent to a dental laboratory, which creates the dental restoration. At the next appointment, the dentist cements the restoration into the prepared cavity and adjusts it as needed.

Composite fillings are tooth-colored fillings that are used to repair a tooth that has been damaged, from decay, a chip or something else.  Once the damaged part of the tooth is removed, the composite filling is used to fill the tooth, giving it back its original form.  Composite fillings are only one of the many filling options that are available for tooth restorations.  Each option has its own benefits and drawbacks, and Dr. Giaquinto can discuss the different options with you.

Composite fillings can be closely matched to a tooth’s existing color and are therefore more preferred for front teeth or other visible teeth.  Composite fillings are also durable, lasting for several years, but they may have to be replaced after time.

Reasons for composite fillings:

  • Chipped teeth
  • Closing a gap between two teeth
  • Cracked or broken teeth
  • Decayed teeth
  • Worn teeth

How are composite fillings placed?

Composite fillings can typically be done or installed in one appointment. After numbing the tooth, Dr. Giaquinto will remove decay and other damaged areas.  Before placing the filling, the new space will be thoroughly cleaned. Special medication will be applied to teeth that have decay near the tooth root. After this prep work, the composite filling will be placed, shaped and polished, and your tooth will once again have its original shape and function.  After receiving a composite filling, you are likely to be sensitive to hot and cold for a short while. Once your tooth acclimates to the new filling, this sensitivity will go away.  Dr. Giaquinto or one of our hygienists will provide you with care instructions when the procedure is finished. Keeping up good eating habits, regular dental visits and a consistent home dental routine will help extend the life of your fillings.