A cavity is a hole caused by tooth decay that has worn through tooth enamel. If left untreated, the cavity grows larger and deeper, leading to pain, abscess, a broken tooth, and possible tooth extraction. In order to stop the cavity and prevent additional damage, the area of decay must be cleaned out and the hole needs to be filled in. For the best results, our Raleigh dental office utilizes composite fillings. Composite fillings, also called “tooth-colored fillings” are a safe, attractive alternative to using amalgam.
What Are Composite Fillings?
Composite fillings are made from a dental composite resin made from multiple polymers, usually bisphenol A-glycidyl methacrylate, urethane dimethacrylate, or semi-crystalline polyceram mixed with a silica filler. These are perfectly safe materials that form a strong, wear-resistant filling. During the process, the resin is soft, so the dentist can easily apply it to the area of concern. Using a blue light, the resin hardens to create a permanent application.
Before tooth-colored fillings became the norm, dentists used fillings made from amalgam to fill in areas of decay. Amalgam is a liquid mercury and metal alloy that contains silver, copper, and tin. While it is generally considered safe, some people are sensitive to the metals in it, and it’s not recommended for use in children and pregnant women. However, most people prefer composite because amalgam is a highly-noticeable silver color.
Benefits of Composite Fillings
Composite fillings offer patients at our Raleigh dentist office multiple benefits. The main benefit is the look of the filling, and by this, we mean there really isn’t a look to them at all! Because the filling is tooth-colored, it blends in with your teeth, providing a natural look that no one will notice. We know you want to keep a bright, white, healthy smile, and composite fillings make that happen!
Additionally, composite resin bonds better to the structure of the tooth, offering added support and preventing sensitivity from temperature changes. Often, less tooth needs to be removed during the decay-removal process. This means the tooth is stronger and the process is easier for the patient.
Drawbacks of Composite Fillings
While composite resin is an excellent material to use, it’s not perfect. Like all dental restoration, composite fillings may wear out over time. While amalgam lasts up to 15 years, composite may wear out between five and ten years.
It’s also important to know that composite fillings may be more expensive than amalgam. Insurance generally covers composite, but you may want to check just to be sure before choosing this option with your dentist.
Other Uses for Composite Fillings by Dentists
In addition to filling cavities, you may find dental composite resin is very versatile to in cosmetic dentistry to improve and restore your smile. Our dentist in Raleigh can use it to fix the following issues:
- Chipped teeth
- Gaps between teeth
- Broken or cracked teeth
- Tooth decay
- Worn down teeth.
How are Composite Fillings Placed?
Composite fillings are a pretty basic procedure and can usually be done in just one appointment with our Raleigh dentist. When you come in for a composite filling, we’ll numb the area that needs to be filled. Dr. Schmorr will remove the decay. If the nerve of your tooth is decayed, special medication offering extra protection will be applied to your tooth and gums. The filling will be shaped, placed, and polished, giving you a restored, healthy smile.
Sensitivity to temperatures is common after fillings are first placed. The symptoms should wear off after your tooth adjusts to your new filling.
Contact Our Raleigh Dentist Office for Composite Fillings
If you have a cavity or are looking for cosmetic dentistry solutions to gaps, wear, or other issues, we can help! Dr. Rebecca Schmorr is a board certified, licensed general and cosmetic Raleigh dentist. Fill out the form below or call us today to schedule your composite fillings consultation and appointment today.