Do you have a cavity? Are you in pain every time you eat or drink something hot or cold? If so, you may need a dental filling. At our dental office, we offer composite fillings as a way to strengthen teeth and alleviate tooth pain. In this blog post, we will explain what composite fillings are and how they help to protect and strengthen teeth.
Composite fillings are made from a popular dental material known as composite resin. This is a mixture of plastic (acrylic) resin that is reinforced with powdered glass. This creates a tooth-colored material, which makes composite fillings less noticeable than metal fillings. In some cases, composite fillings are also called white fillings, clear fillings, or tooth-colored fillings.
While one of their main benefits is their natural appearance, another main benefit of composite fillings is their ability to actually strengthen the natural tooth. Composite fillings can strengthen the teeth in a number of ways. These include:
- Preserving the Natural Tooth Structure: When a cavity is drilled for a metal filling, a lot of the healthy tooth structure is removed. This can make the tooth weaker. Composite fillings help to preserve natural tooth structure by bonding to the remaining tooth. This means that only the damaged or decayed tissue is removed and the majority of the healthy tissue is preserved. This helps to maintain the tooth’s natural strength.
- Having a Unique Bonding Process: As mentioned above, the composite filling material bonds directly to the tooth, which helps to hold it in place and makes it stronger. Other dental restorations require the use of dental cements or adhesives, both of which require more modification to the natural tooth structure. Not only does bonding directly to the tooth preserve the natural tooth structure, but it creates a seamless, strong bond that protects the inside of the tooth.
- Protecting Against Tooth Sensitivity: Composite fillings can help to protect against tooth sensitivity by sealing off the exposed areas of the tooth. As mentioned above, the bond created between the tooth and composite filling is seamless and exceptionally strong. This means that a composite filling will prevent hot and cold stimuli from entering the tooth and irritating the nerve endings within the tooth.
- Can Be Repaired: If a composite filling becomes cracked or damaged, it can be repaired instead of removed and replaced. Repairing a filling can be done by adding more composite resin, instead of needing to remove more natural tooth structure. Since composite fillings can be repaired, this means that they help to prevent major tooth alterations that can weaken the tooth.
- Being Versatile: Composite fillings can be used in a number of different ways, such as to fill cavities, repair cracked teeth, and build up worn down teeth. Overall they can be used for a variety of issues.
Composite fillings are placed by first removing the decay from the tooth. The tooth is then cleaned and prepared for the filling. The composite filling material is then placed in the cavity and shaped to fit the tooth. It is then hardened with a special light. Finally, the filling is polished to match the natural tooth.
In this blog post, we have explained what composite fillings are and how they help to strengthen teeth. If you think you may need a filling, or if you are in pain, please contact our office to schedule an appointment. We would be happy to help you get relief from your tooth pain and protect your teeth with a composite filling.