Are Composite Dental Fillings Permanent?

Dental Filling Issaquah, WA

Composite dental fillings are one of the popular ways to deal with tooth decay nowadays. These restorations do not last forever, but they can last up to 10 years with good oral hygiene. Composites can be color-matched with your teeth so that any repairs made with them blend in with the rest of your teeth. Such benefits are why a growing number of people choose composite dental fillings over alternatives like silver amalgam fillings.

Fixing tooth decay with dental fillings

Tooth decay starts with tiny holes called cavities forming on teeth surfaces. This can lead to toothaches and increased sensitivity. Fortunately, cavities are quite easy to treat and fillings are the standard solution.

For over a century, silver amalgam fillings were the go-to treatment for cavities but these contain mercury, which is now known to be toxic. Silver mercury fillings also have a dark grey color and they ruin the aesthetics of teeth. Teeth repaired with silver amalgam fillings tend to have a decayed look to them.

Composite resin fillings have emerged as a popular alternative due to better compatibility with the body, their affordability and how easy it is to match their color with the patient’s teeth.

The process

Getting composite fillings starts with the dentist administering a shot of a local anesthetic. This prevents the patient from feeling pain as the dentist works on their damaged tooth. The dentist starts by removing decayed material from the tooth. The area is cleaned and disinfected.

An etching solution might be used to roughen the tooth’s surface before applying the composite to it. This leads to a better bond with the composite. The composite is applied to the tooth in layers and molded as desired until the dentist is happy with the results. The composite is hardened with ultraviolet light and polished to give it a nice shine like real teeth. It takes about 45 minutes to repair a decayed tooth with composite resin.

Other types of fillings that can be used to treat tooth decay include:

  • Gold: Gold fillings tend to be the priciest but they are also the most durable. These fillings are made from alloys of gold that contain other metals like copper. Gold fillings are rarely used nowadays
  • Silver amalgam: These are the most affordable type of filling and they are made from a combination of mercury, silver, tin and copper. It leads to a durable restoration that has a gray color. Amalgam fillings are susceptible to cracking and contain mercury, which is toxic
  • Porcelain: Porcelain fillings are often made in a dental lab and they are cemented to decayed teeth. These tend to lead to the best aesthetics but they are one of the pricier options. Better known as onlays and inlays, these restorations are typically used when a tooth has been severely damaged by decay

Fill up your cavities

Dealing with decayed teeth? Give us a call or visit our Issaquah clinic to set up an appointment with our dentist.

Request an appointment here: https://www.sammamishdentalcenter.com or call Sammamish Dental Center at (425) 340-3113 for an appointment in our Issaquah office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Composite Fillings in Issaquah, WA.

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