What Are Composite Fillings?

Composite fillings are made of composite resin, used to fill your teeth and to build up portions of teeth to make them look natural. Composite resin is an organic, strong filling material for teeth and is tooth colored. It is used as a restorative material for decayed teeth or even re-shaping your teeth to improve their appearance.

It can be used to fix minor flaws in the teeth such as fixing a chipped tooth and can also be used to build up an entire tooth, such as a molar, to restore it to a fully functional form.

There are many uses for this resilient, tooth colored composite as is it highly durable and gives excellent long term results.Composite fillings demands much skill at the hands of the cosmetic dentist as it requires dispensing, handling, manipulating and sculpting the material which is highly adherent and difficult to work with.

Once the material is placed on the tooth surface to be treated, it is sculpted to give the tooth a whole new shape and appearance. Only a highly skilled cosmetic dentist with an excellent esthetic sense can achieve beautiful results with composite fillings.

Composite Fillings Procedure

The composite fillings procedure is relatively simple. The tooth surface to be treated is ‘etched’ (topically treated with a dilute acid) to create a slightly roughened surface for mechanical adaptation of the composite to the tooth. The roughened surface of enamel allows better bonding of the composite resin material. The material is applied in layers and each layer is hardened or cured for better adaptation to the tooth.

Once the material is applied, sculpted and the restoration is complete, a bright blue laser light (LED curing light) is used to harden the composite material and ensure perfect bondage to the tooth surface. When the material has hardened, it can then be further refined with finishing disks and polished, so that the surface becomes completely smooth and stain resistant. Any roughened, finished surface will allow pigment accumulation from coloured foods and drinks, so finishing is a must.

Composite resin materials also come in different shades and you may select the shade you desire to have used. It is always best to let the dentist aid you in your decision so as to avoid a restoration and tooth color variation. The procedure is simple but may be slightly time consuming, depending on your particular case, as much skill and hard work goes into perfecting each composite restorative bond.

This material may be used to build up an entire molar tooth due to a large portion of tooth lost by decay, such as in the case of an MOD filling.

Composite fillings can be compared to amalgam/ silver fillings in this aspect as it re-establishes almost the same amount of strength to the restored tooth, with the added advantages that it bonds mechanically to the tooth, without any extra removal of sound tooth substance. Furthermore, the results are so natural it is almost next to impossible to detect whether the tooth has been restored at all. The esthetic results of composite bonding are highly favorable for self-conscious individuals.

Composite fillings is one of the most effective and widely used dental treatments when it is indicated for its particular use, and can last many years if taken care of and maintained well.