What are cosmetic fillings?
- Cosmetic fillings are tooth colored fillings that are bonded on the the tooth structure and the shade of the filling can be matched to the shade of your tooth. These are also known as composite resins.
What are composite fillings made of?
- A composite tooth filling is typically made from a combination of powdered glass and acrylic resin.
Reasons for having cosmetic fillings:
- Cracked or broken teeth.
- Chipped teeth.
- Closing space between two teeth.
- Worn out teeth.
- Decayed teeth.
- Will often add longevity before crowning is needed.
Can all my teeth have cosmetic fillings if required?
- Yes, all your teeth can have cosmetic fillings whether they are the front teeth or the back teeth.
- The strength of cosmetic fillings is as good as the other fillings. Apart from being cosmetically pleasing, these fillings also require very little tooth structure to be removed while preparing a cavity as opposed to other fillings which require more drilling for preparation. This is so because composite fillings rely both on chemical and mechanical methods to retain the filling whereas the other fillings work primarily on the mechanical method.
Can cosmetic fillings also be used to improve the look of my teeth?
- Cosmetic fillings are used to change the shape and size of your teeth or to reduce the gaps between your teeth. These are cheaper options compared to the ceramic crowns and require a fair bit of skill and expertise on your dentist’s part to achieve the desired results. These are directly done in the patient’s mouth and can be completed in one to two visits.
How is a filling done in the tooth?
- A small to moderate filling will typically take about an hour. The dentist will first explain the procedure to you and then take x rays to assess the extent of damage to your teeth.
- Anesthesia is then administered to numb the tooth that is going to be drilled and the surrounding tissues including the gums and the cheek/tongue.
- The portion of the tooth affected by the caries is then drilled out. Following this the tooth to be filled is isolated with a rubber dam or cotton rolls. A bonding agent is applied with a brush and cured with a light. After this the filling is applied bit by bit and cured with a light.
- Once the filling is done, it is polished.
How can I take care of my composite filling?
- Composite fillings generally discolor very quickly and tend to accumulate plaque. Polishing is recommended on the filling every six months to a year.
Can I get caries in the tooth after having a composite filling?
- You can get fresh caries on the same tooth in which the composite filling has been done, just like any other tooth.
What can I do to prevent caries in my teeth?
- Brush and floss your teeth daily twice a week with fluoridated toothpaste so that plaque is cleaned out regularly and efficiently. Avoid sticky sweets and sweet aerated drinks. Get your teeth checked by your dentist every six months.
- If you have a high caries index it might be a good idea to go for fluoride treatment or get your overall health assessed.