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Published: November 23, 2022

What Are Composite Fillings?

A Comprehensive Guide to Dental Health Care and Treatment

When it comes to maintaining good oral health, composite fillings are one of the best treatments available. Composite fillings are a restorative dental treatment used to repair decayed or damaged teeth.

They are made from plastic and glass, hardened and shaped to replicate your teeth' natural look and feel. Not only do composite fillings provide a safe, aesthetically pleasing way to restore teeth, but the procedure is also quick, easy, and minimally invasive.

This comprehensive guide will explore the basics of composite fillings, including the materials, benefits, risks, and costs involved. Whether you are considering getting composite fillings or want to learn more about this advanced dental healthcare treatment, this guide will provide you with all the information you need.

What Are Composite Fillings?

A composite, also known as a "resin," is a tooth-colored filling material used in dentistry to seal tooth decay. The composite material is mixed with color and strength-enhancing plastic resin. A composite filling is typically used to seal large cavities or fill teeth that have decayed through the enamel.

A composite filling typically lasts several years, but the timeline will vary depending on your general oral health care, dietary habits, and other environmental factors. Composite fillings are often used as a "first line of defense" against tooth decay, as they can seal off the decayed area, preventing it from spreading and causing further damage.

Once the decaying process has been stopped, the tooth can be restored with a crown or other long-term treatment. Composite fillings are usually used to treat smaller cavities that have not reached the nerve in the tooth.

What Materials Are Used In Composite Fillings?

Composite fillings use a combination of plastic and glass materials to restore teeth. The plastic resin in composite fillings is typically the same material in orthodontic braces.

The glass component of composite fillings is similar to the materials used in dental crowns. The tooth-colored materials in composite fillings are designed to blend in with natural tooth staining, providing a seamless aesthetic.

The materials used in composite fillings are non-metallic and biocompatible, which means they will not cause any irritation or adverse reaction in the mouth.

This is helpful for patients who have sensitive teeth that may be prone to sensitivity, as the materials used in composite fillings will not cause any discomfort. The materials used in composite fillings are strong, durable, and long-lasting, which means the restoration will last for the long term.

Benefits Of Composite Fillings

  • Composite fillings are easy to place, with the average dental visit lasting only 30 minutes. This means minimal time out of your schedule and no disruptions to your daily routine.
  • Composite fillings are long-lasting and durable and won’t need to be replaced for many years.
  • Composite fillings are strong, durable, and resistant to stains, which means they will last throughout the years, even if you have a messy diet.
  • Composite fillings are safe and non-invasive, making them ideal for patients with sensitive teeth, young children, and those who are afraid of the dentist.
  • Composite fillings are affordable, with most treatments at a relatively low price.

How To Prepare Before The Procedure

The first step in preparing for a composite filling is to schedule an appointment with your dentist. Make sure you have a good oral hygiene routine before your appointment. This includes brushing and flossing your teeth every day, going to the dentist regularly, and taking care of your teeth at home to fit your needs.

For a few days before your appointment, refrain from consuming foods and beverages that cause excessive saliva and can stain your teeth, such as coffee, red wine, and tea.

Your dentist will likely perform an oral exam during the appointment, so keep your mouth open while he inspects your teeth and gums. The dentist may also take X-rays of your teeth, which will help him determine the severity of your tooth decay.

How Is The Procedure Done?

The first step in placing a composite filling is to clean the damaged area of the tooth thoroughly. A dental hygienist will then use a drill to remove the decayed portion of the tooth, followed by a fluoride treatment to kill bacteria and promote healing.

Next, the dentist will place a temporary filling in the hole, followed by a special light-cured resin. The resin is then hardened and shaped to replicate the natural look of your teeth.

Once the procedure is done, you can immediately eat, drink, and continue your daily routine. If you are nervous about the procedure, consider taking an over-the-counter pain reliever a few hours before the appointment to ease any potential discomfort.

Your dentist will probably give you instructions on how to care for yourself after the procedure. It's essential to follow these instructions to make sure you heal quickly.

How Long Do Composite Fillings Last?

Composite fillings last several years, depending on your oral health care routine, dietary habits, and other environmental factors. Some patients are lucky enough never to get a composite filling again, while others may need a new filling every few years when the restoration wears out.

Most dental experts agree that the lifespan of a composite filling is around ten years. When the restoration begins to wear out, your dentist will most likely be able to tell and may recommend replacement.

You can also monitor the condition of your teeth by checking for any loose fillings or other changes in appearance.

What To Expect After The Procedure

After your composite filling is placed, you can resume your daily routine immediately. You can also resume eating your regular diet, though you should avoid sticky, complex, or fibrous food items, which can get caught in the filling and cause damage.

You may also notice a slight difference in the color of your teeth, which is expected as the resin fades over time. It would be best if you were sure to maintain good oral hygiene and follow a suitable at-home oral health care regimen to prevent the decayed tooth from returning.

You may experience mild discomfort after the procedure, which can be treated with an over-the-counter pain reliever. You may also experience mild tooth sensitivity, which is normal and should subside within a few days.

Tips For Maintaining A Healthy Mouth After Getting Composite Fillings

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With that being said, getting a composite filling is only a one-time procedure, meaning you must maintain good oral health habits for the rest of your life. This means brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes, flossing once daily, and visiting the dentist regularly.

If you want your composite filling to last for years and years, you need to take care of your teeth. Your teeth are your most valuable asset and essential to your overall health and well-being.

You should get regular dental checkups every six months and visit the dentist as soon as you notice anything unusual. This way, you can identify and treat tooth decay before it has a chance to progress.

Disadvantages Of Composite Fillings

There are no significant disadvantages to getting a composite filling, but it is worth noting that the procedure does require some tooth removal. Therefore, it is essential to keep the amount of tooth decay low and treat it as soon as you notice it forming.

Additionally, some patients may notice a slight color change in their teeth over time due to the resin used in composite fillings fading. If you are worried about the look of your teeth changing, you can always wear a retainer or get colored dental restorations (crowns, veneers, etc.) to maintain the aesthetic of your smile through the years.


Composite fillings are some of the most advanced dental procedures available and are often the best way to treat minor tooth decay.

The procedure is quick, easy, and minimally invasive, making it ideal for patients with sensitive teeth and young children. Composite fillings are durable, long-lasting, and come at a relatively low cost, making them an excellent investment in oral health.

Make An Appointment With Our Dentist At Eddie G Tennison DDS Now!

Our goal is to offer as many treatments as possible to our patients at reasonable prices so that most treatments can be done in our office instead of sending them to specialists.

Dr. Tennison has spent significant time training in various post-doctoral studies with mentors and professors. This lets him do things like implant surgery, removing wisdom teeth, and orthodontics that most general dentists don't do.

Visit your dentist at the Eddie G Tennison DDS Dental Clinic to enjoy your favorite desserts or treats without worry. Our clinic offers a wide range of dental services to help you ensure that your teeth and overall dental health are at their peak.

Services offered include preventative care, restorative care, cosmetic care, and much more. If you have any questions about our services or want to make an appointment, please don’t hesitate to call us today at (512) 244-1221.

You can also schedule an appointment online by visiting our website at https://dentistinroundrock.com/.

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