Composite fillings are a strong, safe, and natural-looking alternative to metal (amalgam) fillings. These fillings are composed of a white plastic substance and a hardening agent. Unlike metallic fillings, composite fillings strengthen the tooth, blend flawlessly with the enamel, and preserve the natural tooth structure as much as possible.
The Fillings Procedure
To begin the fillings procedure, the dentist administers a local anesthetic. He then removes tooth decay. Next, he places the composite material into the tooth, where it bonds to the enamel. Typically, the dentist applies several layers of composite material, hardening each layer with a special light.
After the Fillings Have Been Placed
After having fillings placed, patients may experience minor tooth sensitivity for a few weeks. Over time, the fillings may become stained from coffee, tea, tobacco, and other discoloring substances. (The dentist may place a seal over the filling to prevent staining.) Although composite fillings can last up to 12 years, depending on the location of the restoration, they may need to be replaced sooner.
Pros and Cons of Composite Fillings
The primary advantage of composite fillings is that they can be matched precisely to an individual’s natural tooth color. Since they are incredibly durable, they can be used in the back teeth as well as the front ones. While composite fillings are more expensive than metal ones, there are options for making them more affordable. Contact our cosmetic dentistry office to learn more about dental insurance information and other payment options.
Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and onlays are composite fillings (restorations) used in the back teeth. These restorations are crafted of tooth-colored porcelain that is sculpted to fill a cavity (onlays cover the top part of the tooth as well), thereby strengthening the tooth. These restorations are usually custom-made in an off-site dental lab, in which case it takes two office visits to place the restoration, although, when appropriate, we can craft CEREC® single-visit inlays and onlays. Aesthetic Smiles of New Jersey uses iTero™ digital impressions to fit patients for inlays and onlays; this advanced piece of equipment that makes the procedure quicker and more comfortable than ever before.
At our practice, we make it our goal to give patients all information available on our procedures so that they can make informed decisions about their treatment. Contact Aesthetic Smiles of New Jersey to learn about how cosmetic dentistry can transform your smile.