Composite Fillings in London

Composite fillings, or ‘white fillings’, are natural-looking tooth-coloured resins that are much stronger, safer, and more aesthetically pleasing than traditional metal fillings. They can be used to restore a decayed tooth or repair a defect. These white composite fillings match the natural colour of your teeth, seamlessly blend into your mouth, and also strengthen the remaining tooth structure to prevent further breakage to your teeth.

Another benefit is that composite fillings create less sensitivity to extremes of hot and cold as they do not conduct heat as traditional metal fillings can. Although they are often used on the front teeth, where a natural appearance is important, they may also be used on a back tooth when the restoration is small or maybe visible when speaking or laughing.

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How long does it take?
Like silver fillings, composites can be prepared and placed in one visit. Unlike metal fillings, composite fillings are ready to use right after your visit (traditional fillings require several hours before they approach full strength).
What steps are involved in the process of composite fillings?
To begin the procedure, we administer local anaesthesia to numb the specific area surrounding the tooth that requires filling. Following this, we remove the decayed portion using a drill, air abrasion instrument, or laser. The selection of the instrument depends on different factors.

Next, we conduct a probing or testing procedure to ensure that all the decay has been successfully eliminated. Once the decayed area has been removed, we proceed to prepare the space for the filling by thoroughly cleaning the cavity to remove any bacteria or debris.

In situations where the decay is located near the root, we may opt to place a linear to protect the underlying nerve. Finally, once the filling is in place, we proceed to finish and polish it for optimal aesthetics and functionality.

Composite fillings involve several additional steps, which are outlined below. After eliminating the decay and thoroughly cleaning the affected area, we apply composite material in multiple layers. Subsequently, we use a specialized light to “cure” or harden each layer of the material. Once the multi-layering process is finished, we shape the composite material to achieve the desired outcome, remove any excess material, and ultimately polish the final restoration.

Temporary sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures is common after the placement of composite fillings, but this sensation will diminish as your tooth adjusts to the new filling.

How long does it last?
Composite fillings have a potential lifespan of approximately 8 to 12 years if proper care is taken. It is essential to maintain their longevity by diligently brushing your teeth twice a day and incorporating interdental cleaning practices. Utilizing floss and interdental cleaners, which are uniquely designed brushes, is crucial in effectively eliminating plaque from the spaces between your teeth. Neglecting to remove plaque from these interdental areas can lead to dental decay and gum disease, underscoring the importance of these oral hygiene tools.

Factors that affect the longevity of composite fillings

  • 5The location of the filling plays a role as the back teeth endure greater biting and chewing pressures. While composite fillings are generally sturdy, they may wear out more quickly when placed in molars due to the increased forces involved.
  • 5The size of the filling also impacts its longevity. Smaller fillings tend to have a longer lifespan as they are less prone to complications.
  • 5Teeth grinding or clenching, known as bruxism, can exert excessive pressure on the fillings, potentially causing them to wear down or break prematurely.
  • 5Dietary choices can influence the risk of enamel erosion and subsequent issues with composite fillings. Consuming sugary or acidic foods and beverages increases the likelihood of enamel damage, which can impact the integrity of the fillings.
  • 5Maintaining good oral hygiene practices is crucial for both oral health and the longevity of fillings. Regular brushing, flossing and overall oral care help prevent decay and gum disease, promoting the durability of the fillings.

Get Composite Fillings to Improve Your Oral Health

Neglecting to treat a cavity can have detrimental effects on your overall health, making it imperative to seek timely intervention. By opting for composite fillings, you can prevent further damage and potential infections. But, by ignoring it, you can put your oral health at risk!

At London Smiling, our skilled dentists specialize in various restorative dental services, including composite fillings in London. If you have any inquiries regarding the safety, purpose, or advantages of composite fillings, we would be more than happy to provide you with answers.