Along with veneers and teeth whitening, composite fillings are a type of dental treatment that improves the aesthetics of your smile. Unlike some cosmetic dentistry treatments, however, composite fillings are also functional and help to treat tooth decay. If you have a cavity and are considering your options for fillings, here are the answers to some of the questions you may have about composite fillings.
What Are Composite Fillings?
Composite fillings are used to treat decayed teeth. When you have a cavity, the diseased portion of the tooth is removed, and a filling is used to restore it—except in the cases of large areas of decay, when a root canal is necessary. A composite filling is made of plastic and glass and matches the color of your teeth. Because it has the same color as your teeth, it is less noticeable than other types of filling materials, such as silver amalgam.
What Are the Benefits of Composite Fillings?
Most patients who choose composite fillings do so because of the cosmetic benefits. Your dentist can create a filling that is personalized to the shade of your teeth, so your fillings will blend seamlessly into your smile. Like all fillings, composites protect your teeth after decay is removed to prevent breakage of the remaining tooth structure. These fillings also help to prevent sensitivity that can occur after the decayed portion of the tooth is removed.
Am I a Good Candidate for Composite Fillings?
There are several factors to consider when choosing a material for your fillings. Composite fillings are usually more expensive than other types of fillings, and some insurance companies will not cover the difference in price. Patients with composites may also be more prone to post-treatment sensitivity. Composite fillings can be stained by coffee, tea, red wine, and other staining foods, and the fillings will not respond to teeth whitening treatments. Talk to your dentist about putting a protective coating on your fillings to reduce staining if this is a concern.