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How to Place a Composite Filling

Tooth filling procedures have come a long way and have evolved into greatly improved techniques. Gone are the days when mercury or metals were used. No one needs fear heartily laughing and showing their teeth, lest others see blackened molars and “metal-mouth”.

First, a professional dentist will evaluate the dentition. Probing will find dental decay, which will be removed from the tooth using a drill (hand piece), powered air or lasers.

Once the decay is taken out, the tooth is prepared by shaping the area for the filling, to ensure that it will stay securely in place.

The next step is preparing and inserting the filling. For its durability and aesthetic appearance, composite fillings are often chosen.

Composite Make Up

There are usually three main ingredients in a composite:

• Inorganic Filler (e.g. silica)

• Synthetic filler (glass and ceramic compounds) which provide both resistance and its translucent quality

• Resin (bisphenol-A-glycidyl methacrylate or urethane dimethacrylate)

After the specific composite is chosen, painstaking care must be used by a professional and experienced dentist in the placement of the composite fillings into the prepared tooth space.

Although composites are inserted during the time that they are soft and doughy, a special light with a blue wavelength specific to the initiator and catalyst (a substance that hastens the chemical reaction) involved in the particular package which hardens (cures) the resin into a solid filling state.

The light cured composites are more dense and stronger than self-cured resins which might have porosity from air bubbles.

Because the light does not infiltrate a thickness of more than 2-3 millimeters into the resin, the composite must be placed in layers and intervals, hardening each 2-3 mm thickness, before placing the next layer until finished. This prevents the composite from remaining soft in the middle. Curing times are longer for darker shades of resin. The unpolymerized, soft resin would ultimately destroy or irritate the tooth’s nerve if inserted in bulk, all at one time.

In addition to filling cavity surfaces and gaps between teeth, composites can be applied to reshape a tooth or as a partial crown on a tooth. Even bridges between 2-3 teeth have been successfully implemented with composites.

Adhering to proper guidelines, a well-placed composite is not only pleasing to the eye; it is also markedly functional-strong, hardwearing and comfortable. In addition, the composites will last at least ten years or longer.



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.