Fillings

Composite Fillings

Not all tooth decay is drastic.  Sometimes it’s a crack, a chip, or a small gap.  But like a rip on a painting, these small imperfections can be hard to miss!  It’s important to find an equally subtle but effective way of fixing them.

Klooster Family Dentistry offers composite filling services to Holly Springs residents.  A composite filling is a sculptable material placed directly over a tooth.  Initially a resin, your dentist hardens it into a strong material that is safe and effective.

Composite vs. Amalgam Fillings

If you’ve ever had a cavity filled, you may remember a silver spot in your mouth.  This is called an amalgam filling, made from a combination of metals.  The technology is over a century old, but it is affordable and long lasting.

Composite fillings serve the same purpose, but use a tooth-colored resin instead.  This clean look is much more appropriate for visible areas, and the composite filling is equally as strong as its amalgam counterpart.  It is also BPA-free and completely safe.

Uses

Composite fillings can replace any gap, crack, or chip in the teeth.  A frequent manifestation of this problem is in a cavity, a small pocket of decayed tooth.  After the cavity is cleaned and removed, the composite filling can be inserted directly into the tooth.

Composite fillings can repair any other small imperfection in teeth.  For example, a patient may have a chipped tooth from repeated grinding or an accident, or a gap from enamel erosion between two teeth.  Because of their color, composite fillings can also smooth out an uneven tooth surface or correct severe stains.

The Procedure

Fillings are a routine and simple procedure, and can be accomplished in a single dental visit.

The first step is to thoroughly clean the tooth to ensure a strong bond.  Your dentist may also trim or drill part of the tooth to create a smoother surface.  After the surface is ready, your dentist uses a mildly acidic etching gel that functions similarly to paint primer:  it conditions the tooth surface to be more adhesive-friendly.

The gel is washed off after a short time, and then the filling is placed on the tooth in thin layers.  Each layer is cured with a special light, and the amount of layers differs depending on the application.  After all the layers are down, your dentist polishes the final filling into its proper shape.  After your filling, you can usually eat and drink immediately!

A composite filling can last a long time, and in skilled hands is indistinguishable from a normal tooth.