A composite (tooth colored) filling is used to repair a tooth that has decay (a cavity). Composite materials can also be used to build up teeth that have been broken from traumatic injury, restoring the tooth to its original appearance. If a tooth is misshapen or if small spaces are present, composite materials can be bonded to teeth to improve the appearance of teeth.
There are many types of restorative materials available, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. After diagnosis and treatment planning, our doctors will present the most appropriate options for restoring teeth, as well as any alternatives.
At Orange County Pediatric Dental Group, we are an amalgam-free practice, so we do not place silver fillings and we have not done so for over 25 years.
All dental restorations (fillings, cosmetic bonding, or crowns) require maintenance with good brushing and flossing. Limiting sticky/sugary/acidic foods and carbonated beverages will also help prolong the life of any type of dental restoration. Gummy vitamins should also be avoided as these usually have sugars that can contribute to cavities around your dental restorations and lead to new cavities. Over time, dental restorations do need to be replaced, so it is important to continue to see your dentist for regular examinations and dental cleanings.
Advantages of composite restorations:
- Composite comes in many colors and can be matched to natural tooth color
- Composite is bonded to the natural tooth, so it reinforces the tooth
- Less tooth structure needs to be removed during preparation for a filling
- Often, no numbing is required for fillings on chewing surfaces or pits on the cheek/tongue surfaces of teeth
- Can be used to reshape teeth/close spaces in some cases
- Less abrasive to opposing teeth compared to many ceramic restorations
- Composite restorations seal the teeth and usually help prevent sensitivity immediately post-treatment
Uses for composite restorations: