Composite Fillings (tooth-colored fillings):
Composite fillings, sometimes referred to as tooth-colored, plastic, or white fillings, are just as their name suggests. They are a variation of filling that can be matched to your existing tooth color for an indistinguishable finish. For this reason, composite fillings are highly popular for use in the front or other visible teeth. They can also be used in the rear teeth as well since they can handle the constant force of chewing. Composite fillings are made from powdered glass and plastic resin, which are the same materials used for inlays and onlays, veneers, dental bonding, and dental crowns.
Did You Know?
Because composite fillings are made from a composite resin plastic material that blends in with your natural teeth color, they will not corrode over time like amalgam fillings.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Should I get a composite filling?
You may want to consider a composite filling if you are in need of a small to medium filling and want to maintain a natural appearance to your smile. Additionally, if you have any allergies to metals, composite fillings may be a better filling option for you. Composite fillings may also be an ideal choice for you if you are looking to fix broken, worn, or chipped teeth, or if you wish to strengthen your natural tooth structure.
Another common option for fillings are amalgam, or metal fillings. Amalgam fillings are more noticeable due to their metallic color and can erode over time. However, they are more affordable, highly durable, and last longer.
Composite fillings not only blend well with your natural teeth, but they also preserve more of your natural tooth structure and can easily be bonded to your teeth. However, composite fillings take longer to apply because the tooth must remain completely clean during the application process. Also, because they are made from composite resin, composite fillings generally require more replacements than amalgam fillings.
To find out if you should get a composite filling, schedule a consultation with one of our dentists at Lifetime Dental Care today!
What should I expect when having a composite filling placed at Lifetime Dental Care?
At Lifetime Dental Care, we will numb your mouth to keep you comfortable during your composite filling procedure. Then we will begin the filling process by first removing any decayed tissue and cleaning the remaining cavity. This will remove all of the decay-causing bacteria and remaining decayed tissue, which is an essential step in placing an effective composite filling. Your composite filling will be placed by layering a composite resin and hardening each of these layers with a special curing light. The final filling will be shaped and polished accordingly so that it blends in with the surrounding tooth structure. Although the placement of a composite filling takes longer than an amalgam filling, there is significantly less drilling and less natural tooth structure is lost in the process.
What should I expect after my composite filling is placed at Lifetime Dental Care?
After your filling is placed at Lifetime Dental Care, you can resume normal function right away. This is because the composite filling is completely hardened during your procedure and is fully functional directly after. You may want to exercise caution while chewing until your mouth regains feeling from the anesthetic. Additionally, some patients report experiencing a brief period of tooth sensitivity following their composite filling procedure. A few days of tooth sensitivity is a normal part of recovery, but if it persists over a week, call our office.
How long do composite filling last for and how will it be replaced?
Most composite fillings last for an average of five to seven years. To increase the lifespan of your composite filling, it is essential to practice good dental habits. Such habits include brushing twice daily for at least two minutes, flossing once daily, and visiting Lifetime Dental Care for your dental checkup and professional teeth cleaning every six months. It is also important to avoid damaging behaviors like using your teeth as an opener, smoking, chewing on ice, clenching or grinding your teeth, and biting your nails.
Damaging behaviors can cause your composite filling to become loose and fall out. Sometimes composite fillings also fall out if they are nearing the end of their life span. One main way to avoid your composite filling from falling out is to keep up with your dental appointments. Our dentists can identify when your composite filling needs to be replaced by evaluating its borders with a special probe tool. Excessively worn borders suggest a replacement is needed. Other signs that indicate a replacement might be needed include sudden tooth sensitivity or pain of the affected tooth.
To replace your composite filling, our dentists will first remove all of your existing filling before placing an entirely new composite filling in the remaining cavity. However in some cases, especially those involving molars, your composite filling may just need to be repaired instead of completely replaced. Repairs are used over replacements to save remaining tooth structure.
What is the average price of a composite filling?
The average price of a composite filling ranges from $135-$240 depending on its size and the location in your mouth. Fillings in the back of your mouth or other hard to reach places may be more expensive because they require extra work. If you have dental insurance, you will likely be able to obtain full or partial coverage for your composite filling. Most dental insurance companies will only offer partial coverage, especially if the tooth is in the back of your mouth. Some insurance companies will agree to pay the cost of an amalgam filling, allowing you to pay the difference. Be sure to consult with your individual dental insurance plan to determine what benefits they offer in terms of dental fillings.
To maintain your general dental routine, schedule a consultation with one of our dentists at Lifetime Dental Care today! Lifetime Dental Care serves residents of Woodbridge, VA and the surrounding areas.