Most people will have to undergo a tooth filling in their lifetime, whether that’s due to accident, injury, poor oral care (leading to cavities, tooth enamel erosion etc) or simply age. Composite fillings are simply an alternative solution to traditional metal tooth fillings and is one of several safe and long-term treatments we provide at our clinic.
What are composite fillings?
Dental composite fillings are essentially standard tooth fillings that are coloured to resemble the natural colour of your original tooth. They are also known as resin fillings, white fillings and tooth-coloured fillings.
They serve the same function as traditional fillings; to repair cracks, fissures and decay in affected teeth. Your dentist removes the area of decay or the affected part of the tooth and then places a composite filling in its place.
Composite fillings come in a variety of materials
Like standard fillings, composite fillings come in a variety of different materials to help protect and defend your teeth from decay and damage. During your consultation, you and your dentist will discuss the best option for your case to ensure you’re happy with the treatment path.
Composite fillings remain one of the most popular options to restore teeth to their former appearance, mainly due to their aesthetic advantages (being coloured to match your existing tooth or teeth).
Your fillings are not designed to last forever
Although composite fillings are designed to withstand the same amount of stress we put our natural teeth through every day, they are not a lifelong solution. If your filling becomes damaged, loose or falls out, it can easily be replaced. If this happens, it’s important you contact your dentist as soon as possible to ensure the tooth does not become infected.
Some of the most common reasons composite fillings are required are:
- Damaged teeth through accident, injury or trauma
- Teeth that have decayed
- Teeth are worn from bruxism
The difference between amalgam and composite fillings
Amalgam fillings are typically made from a variety of metals, whereas resin or composite fillings are plastic or ceramic-based.
Amalgam fillings have been around for over 100 years and remain a popular option for people requiring tooth fillings. However, since the introduction of composite fillings, they are now less popular as they are less discrete. The type of filling you choose will depend on your personal preferences, budget, dental history and the advice from your dentist.
Applying composite fillings & the treatment process
Applying composite fillings is a very straightforward treatment, lasting approximately 20 – 30 minutes. As with a typical tooth filling procedure, your dentist will numb your teeth and remove any decay or affected parts of the tooth. Then, they will clean that area to ensure correct placement of your composite filling is achieved. Your filling is created based on the shape of your tooth and the area it will be filling/covering to ensure it fits perfectly. Your composite filling is then placed securely to ensure it achieves a natural appearance and functions like any other natural tooth.
Do you need composite dental fillings?
If you have recently suffered trauma to your tooth, have sensitivity while eating or notice early signs of decay in your teeth, we strongly advised booking an appointment with our private dental team. Composite filling procedures will restore your teeth to their natural colour and function, as well as alleviate any pain caused by decayed or damaged teeth.
Can I get a composite filling on my front tooth?
Yes, we are able to create and apply front tooth fillings for patients. Front tooth fillings are generally required when they become damaged or chipped. In any case, your front tooth filling will be made to match your existing tooth colour and shape.
Does getting a composite filling hurt?
No, undergoing any filling treatment is generally painless due to the anaesthetic applied to numb your tooth. You may feel the filling is placed into your mouth, but this isn’t painful and is a routine part of the procedure. If you do feel any discomfort, advise your dentist so they can provide assistance.
What happens if my composite filling falls out?
If your composite filling falls out, it’s important to visit your dentist as soon as possible to get a temporary filling replacement. This way, your tooth is protected from decay while you wait for your new composite filling.
Can I get my filling whitened?
Teeth whitening will not affect your filling, however, we would always advise having your teeth whitened by a professional dentist. For more information on teeth whitening at our clinic, visit our private charges page.
How much are composite fillings?
A full breakdown of your composite filling price can be found on our private charges page.
What is a posterior filling?
A posterior filling is a filling that is placed on your back teeth and uses the same material as what’s used on the front teeth. However, most front tooth fillings now use composite fillings as they’re designed to match the colour of your teeth. Posterior fillings can still be amalgam (metal)-based to suit your preferences, requirements and budget.
What are dental composite materials made from?
Resin, composite fillings are made from synthetic materials including ceramic and plastic compounds.