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Composite Fillings

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Aesthetic and effective repairs for decay

Most people have fillings of one sort or another but today, because we are much more conscious of our smile, we can choose a natural looking alternative – the composite or tooth-coloured filling.

What are composite fillings?

A composite resin is a tooth-coloured plastic mixture filled with glass (silicon dioxide) first introduced in the 1960s. Originally only used for front teeth because of their softer nature, modern improvements to their composition make them generically suitable today.

Composite fillings are more difficult to place than silver fillings so may take your dentist 15-20 minutes longer to complete and because they are considered to be a cosmetic treatment, they are not available on the NHS and must be paid for.

Why choose composite fillings?

The main advantage of composite fillings is their aesthetic appeal. The main disadvantage is their life expectancy. White fillings have always been considered less long lasting than silver amalgam fillings but there are now new materials available with properties comparable to silver amalgam, and these are proving to be very successful. The life expectancy of your composite filling can depend on the depth of cavity and its position in the mouth; your dentist is best positioned to advise you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I have my silver fillings changed to white composite?

If you no longer like the appearance of your silver amalgam fillings, you can choose to have them removed and white composite placed instead. Please let us know if this is something you are considering and we can discuss the treatment in more detail with you.

Can my composite filling be repaired if it becomes damaged?

A composite filling can be easily repaired if it chips or a small area becomes damaged. We can add more composite material to make it appear as if the damage was never there. In some cases, we may opt to remove the whole filling and replace it, but this still can be achieved in a single appointment.

How do I look after my composite filling?

The most effective way to look after a composite filling is to maintain an excellent oral hygiene routine at home, including brushing and flossing twice a day. This will prevent decay forming around the composite filling and affecting the healthy part of your tooth. Your dentist will ensure your composite filling is remaining problem free at your regular check up appointments.

How long do I need to wait before eating following a composite filling procedure?

You don’t have to wait at all – your composite filling is hardened during treatment and sets immediately, meaning it gains full function straight away. You will be able to eat and drink without issue from the moment you leave the practice, although we do advise you take care when biting on the filled tooth for the first couple of days.

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