When it’s time to get our teeth looked at, we often just sit in the dentist’s chair, listening to our dentist talk about various procedures, but probably not fully comprehending all of what they are saying. That’s why it is wise to do a little light reading of our own, to learn more about the various dental procedures and processes that are available to us.
Composite restorations and fillings are one of the most common dental remedies for addressing slight damage or decay to our teeth. Such fillings can also be used to address cracked or chipped teeth, etc.
The esteemed dental media hosting source, Mouth Healthy, defines composite restorations (also called composite fillings) quite well. According to their definition:
- “Composite resins, or tooth-colored fillings, provide good durability and resistance to fracture in small- to mid-size fillings that need to withstand moderate pressure from the constant stress of chewing. They can be used on either front or back teeth. They are a good choice for people who prefer that their fillings look more natural.”
This is a well-put description of composite restorations. These are essentially a very simple but very effective method for addressing small and minor damage to the teeth. But composite fillings and restorations wouldn’t be effective for addressing more advanced damage to the teeth. That kind of damage would require a more in-depth approach such as a root canal treatment or a dental crown.
How Composite Fillings Differ from Other Dental Procedures
Composite fillings work to restore the basic function and purpose of the tooth. Composite fillings can be used to remedy anything from a cavity to a sports injury. It just all depends on the individual situation and what extent of damage has been done to the tooth. When damage to a tooth becomes more significant, other methods of repair will be needed, such as root canal treatments, dental crowns, bridges, etc. But composite fillings are quite common because most dental situations can be caught and addressed rapidly before a more intensive approach is needed.
Composite fillings are made of a combination of ceramic and plastic. Composite fillings are made to match the color and tone of the tooth they are used on and the surrounding teeth as well, so the cosmetology of the procedure makes it look as though nothing was ever done there, to begin with. Composite fillings are also quite durable, and they tend to last a long time if they are well taken care of. Composite fillings are also perhaps the least invasive of all dental repair procedures, making them the ideal choice for many dentists and their patients alike.
How Composite Restoration is Done
Composite restorations and fillings are a relatively simple process. First, any decay or damage to the tooth will be removed, and the entire mouth and teeth will be cleaned and any detritus or bacteria will be removed. Then, your dentist will locate and match a composite resin that is the same color as your teeth, and he or she will get to work applying that composite to the affected tooth.
This process may take some time, as the dentist must use the composite to replace a section of the tooth, all while still allowing that tooth to perform naturally as a tooth should. And, the tooth has to function with other teeth, not impair or impinge on the person’s natural bite and comfortable jaw position. So there are several factors involved here. Once completed, the filling is inspected closely, with any finishing touches placed on it right then and there.
Composite fillings have very little impact on the mouth, which is another reason why dentists often utilize this approach and why patients often request them. There may be a few days of recovery time where the individual might struggle slightly with speech and eating, but this should pass soon, in a few days at the most. A mild sensitivity to hot and cold food and beverages may also be noticed at first, but this too will pass.
Composite restoration is a relatively simple dental procedure. It is affordable and very low-impact on the teeth, mouth, and gums. From a preventative stance, with the right dental hygiene and care, you and your family will hopefully never need this type of repair. But if the need does arise, composite restorations are a successful approach.