Composite Fillings in Alexandria, VA
Tooth decay is among the most common health problems in adults. Fortunately, in cases where cavities are unavoidable, tooth-colored fillings are an affordable, natural-looking solution.
Not only are composite fillings the most aesthetic choice for tooth restoration, but they’re also strong and long-lasting. Learn exactly what composite fillings are and whether you might be a candidate here.
What Is a Composite Filling?
A composite filling is a tooth-colored filling used to treat decayed, cracked, chipped, or discolored teeth.
Composite fillings are made from a combination of resin and silica, glass quartz, or ceramic. Because of their appearance, tooth-colored fillings are great for filling cavities in visible places.
Our Alexandria dental office specifically uses composite resin for a natural look.
How Do I Know if I Need a Filling?
Teeth sensitivity, whether to certain temperatures or pressure, is the most common sign you might need a filling.
When acid from food and bacteria erodes the foundation of teeth, decay occurs. The enamel, or outer layer of the tooth, is the first to be affected. Without treatment, cavities grow larger and affect the deeper layers of your teeth.
How Do Composite Fillings Work?
A filling does exactly what it says — fills in a cavity created by decay or trauma, restoring the tooth’s function. Composite fillings are a routine treatment we perform every day at Dr. Kathleen Mullaney, DDS. Here’s how it works.
Our dentist, Dr. Mullaney, starts by numbing the area where the filling is to be placed. She’ll remove any decayed portions, creating a hollow in the tooth. The composite resin is applied in soft layers and hardened using a special light; this rapidly cures the filling, making it as durable as the rest of your tooth. Once the resin is hard, Dr. Mullaney will polish it to prevent unevenness and discomfort.
How Long Do Composite Fillings Last?
Composite fillings won’t last forever and may eventually need to be replaced. Their longevity usually depends on a couple of factors: the location of the filling as well as your general oral health and hygiene methods.
If you take care of your teeth, composite resin ensures a long-lasting, beautiful smile for years to come.
Benefits of Composite Fillings
Some of the top benefits of composite fillings include:
- Less drilling compared to other fillings – Compared to amalgam fillings, composite requires much less of the tooth to be removed. This results in a stronger tooth once the filling is bonded.
- Can fix chipped and cracked teeth – Composite fillings are tooth-colored, which means they can be closely matched to the color of your natural teeth. They’re also ideal for repairing chips and cracks in the teeth.
- Minimal tooth sensitivity – Composite causes less sensitivity than amalgam fillings, as it insulates the tooth, making it more resistant to hot and cold temperatures. You may, however, experience temporary sensitivity following the procedure.
- They can be repaired – If your filling starts to degrade, Dr. Mullaney can clean and mend it as necessary. Also, if you already have amalgam fillings, she can switch them out for composite resin, giving your teeth a brighter appearance.
Tooth-Colored Fillings in Alexandria, VA
Overall, the best way to prevent cavities is to keep up with your daily oral hygiene and see our Old Town dentist for regular cleanings.
Dr. Kathleen Mullaney, DDS, offers both cosmetic and restorative dentistry services in Alexandria, VA. Whether you have questions about composite fillings or would like to schedule an appointment, call 703-223-8287 or contact us today!