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    Composite Fillings


    All PPO Insurance Accepted


    Free Dental Exams & X-Rays


    Financing Available

    Bacteria on teeth can cause tooth decay, and untreated decay can result in complications like infection or pain. Composite fillings are an effective and safe solution to preserve your teeth. The dental fillings are tooth-colored, aesthetic, and durable composite resins. The process of placing the filling requires one visit to The Lakewood Dentist. Our dental team can review your dental history and help you determine whether fillings are your best option. Next, we can remove the decayed tooth part, clean it, fill the area with the filling material, and then shape it to match your tooth’s shape.

    Defining Composite Fillings

    If your tooth has a cavity, your dentist can recommend obtaining a composite filling immediately to prevent infections and close your tooth.

    Unlike other dental filling types like amalgam, composite dental fillings are quickly gaining popularity due to their durability and aesthetics. They have a natural appearance, and you can customize them to suit your tooth’s shade, making them unrecognizable to anyone who looks at your mouth and teeth.

    The tooth-colored material is acrylic (a mixture of plastic resin that is strengthened using a glass filler). It is fundamental in dental restorations like inlays, crowns, veneers, and fillings. Your dentist can also use the composite filling to restore or repair chipped or broken teeth.

    How to Know You Need Composite Fillings

    Making regular dental checkups helps you identify cavities early.

    When food and bacteria build up in your teeth, they can form plaque. The bacteria found in plaque produce acids that can erode the enamel on your teeth’ surface.

    Flossing and brushing teeth regularly helps eliminate the sticky plaque. If the plaque is permitted to build up, it can erode, chipping away at your teeth and creating cavities.

    A cavity creates a hole in your tooth. If left unattended, a cavity can damage your tooth over time. An unfilled cavity also causes more severe complications, like tooth infections or abscesses that enter your bloodstream, which can sometimes be life-threatening.

    Here are the possible indicators of a cavity:

    Composite Fillings Dental Procedure

    Typically, tiny fillings take approximately thirty minutes. It can be time-consuming to fill several or deeper cavities.

    Highlighted below is what you should expect with the procedure:

    1. First, the healthcare provider will dry your treatment area before administering a numbing gel
    2. After your gums are numb, they will administer local anesthesia. You can feel a sting or pinch while the anesthesia begins to numb your jaw area, gums, and teeth.
    3. Then, the dentist will remove the decayed part using a drill. Most people find the drill’s sound annoying, but listening to podcasts, audiobooks, or music using headphones can reduce stress.
    4. After removing the decay, the dentist will sterilize and fill the hole. A deep filling near your pulp can require your dentist to lay a liner to protect your nerve.
    5. Finally, the physician will confirm whether your bite is even before polishing your tooth.

    Are Composite Fillings Safe?

    Some patients have expressed concerns over the safety of composite dental fillings, claiming that the composite material could be cytotoxic or hazardous to tissue near the treated tooth.

    According to research conducted in 2012, patients raised concerns about filling with dark colors due to the curing light used to harden the composite dental filling.

    Scientists in another study urged that more research on potential risks is required. They recommended that healthcare providers adhere to manufacturers’ guidelines regarding curing time and light intensity.

    Please consult your dentist if you have questions or concerns. They should give you details on the materials they will use and their advantages and cons.

    Advantages of Composite Dental Fillings

    Many dentists prefer composite dental fillings to other treatments because they address many dental issues. Discussed below are the key pros of composite tooth fillings:

    It is a Less Invasive Dental Procedure

    Other tooth-filling procedures require space-creation for dental implantation, which could involve removing significant tooth parts. The invasive drilling can weaken tooth structures and cause extended breaking and chipping.

    Dental fillings could eliminate the problem because the treatment requires mild drilling when establishing a bonding surface. Bonding with your natural tooth creates a protective shell that safeguards the sensitive tooth areas, preventing more damage.

    It is Versatile

    Unlike an amalgam tooth filling, a composite dental filling has various dental applications. It is ideal for cosmetic and restorative procedures. For example, it is the first solution for fixing chipped teeth, cracks, and cavities.

    Moreover, it is suitable for closing the gap between teeth.

    Strengthening of the Tooth Structures

    Typically, damaged teeth lose their structural longevity and durability. Composite tooth fillings bond to your original dental structure, hence offering more tooth support. After the bonding material hardens, it leads to strong teeth that withstand added pressure.

    Composite Dental Filling Material Is Repairable

    Composite tooth fillings will, with time, degrade due to accidental damage and trauma. Fortunately, you can repair the filling through a minor procedure, restoring your smile. Your doctor will clean the infected area and reapply the composite.

    Another benefit is that the repair could be more affordable than tooth refilling.

    Quick Bonding and Hardening

    After the filling placement, your dentist will use a curing light on the dental filling, which aids in hardening it, hence reducing the bonding period. The diminished bonding time means the dental procedure is completed quickly. Different filing procedures take more time.

    Diminished Tooth Sensitivity

    Tooth sensitivity worsens- the more your tooth is damaged, making drinking and eating hot or cold drinks and foods unbearable. Composite tooth fillings eliminate the problem due to resin bonds with your tooth, insulating it against decreasing temperatures.

    Nevertheless, people with new composite filings may still have mild sensitivity, which subsides with time.

    Cons of Composite Fillings

    Some of the disadvantages of composite filling are as follows:

    Are Dental Filling Painful?

    Before the dental procedure, your dentist should discuss with you what to anticipate and how extensive the treatment will be. Some factors that affect how painful the filling are as follows:

    Your Tooth Cavity’s Depth and Size

    Tooth decay and cavity development are continuous. It begins as a white spot caused by a tiny mineral loss in the tooth enamel.

    Tiny cavities are easy to catch early and fix. If the cavity is shallow, the discomfort can be minimal.

    On the other hand, a deeper cavity requires more decay removal and is time-consuming to fill. A deep cavity is located near your tooth’s nerve endings and can result in more pain during filling. Unless you have a high pain tolerance, your healthcare provider can recommend injecting anesthesia in your deep cavities.

    Your Number of Cavities

    If you have various cavities in the same mouth area, your physician can choose to fill them all simultaneously. It can lead to more discomfort due to extensive procedures. During the treatment, you will open your mouth long, which could result in gagging and jaw pain.

    Your dentist can recommend additional anesthesia for the prolonged procedure.

    The Cavities’ Location

    There are three (3) main forms of cavities, namely:

    1. Pit and fissure (happen on the molars’ biting surfaces).
    2. Root cavities (which occur at a tooth’s root).
    3. Smooth surface cavities (occur on the mother’s side).

    Many small root cavities are easy to treat if caught early and can be filled with anesthetic.

    Various Types of Numbing Agents

    A numbing agent reduces or eliminates discomfort or pain. Your dentist has a preference for a particular type. Ensure you speak with your physician about the numbing agent they want to use and why they believe it is best for oral health.

    Here are the typical numbing agents:

    Ensure you tell your dentist if you are allergic to any anesthesia.

    If you are nervous, your dentist can administer laughing gas (nitrous oxide) via a breathing mask. Laughing gas reduces pain, anxiety, and fear.

    Is It Painful After a Tooth Filling?

    After completing your composite filling treatment, residual pain can take time to disappear. You can feel a dull ache at the dental work site for hours after leaving your dentist.

    Moreover, anesthesia can take up to seven hours to wear off. As the anesthesia wears off, you can feel uncomfortable needles and pin feelings as the nerves regain their function.

    You can take painkillers like ibuprofen to relieve the pain. Also, you can apply an ice pack or gentle heat outside the jaw to soothe your pain and reduce swelling.

    You should also avoid eating sticky, cold, and acidic foods the evening after your dentist fills the cavities to ensure the cavities seal and avoid ongoing complications and pain.

    After the procedure, your teeth can feel sensitive or uncomfortable for several days.

    Mild discomfort is normal and should be temporary. However, you should consult your dentist immediately if you notice pus, swelling, or severe pain. It could indicate you need additional treatment, like a root canal or an infection.

    Mild pain or tooth sensitivity can worsen if you drink or eat anything extremely cold or hot. Additionally, breathing in cold air can make your teeth feel tingly or uncomfortable.

    How to Handle Tooth Sensitivity Following Composite Filling

    Some of the primary causes of tooth sensitivity are as follows:

    Your Dental Filling Could Be Set or Fixed Incorrectly

    You could experience pain following a tooth filling because your dental filling is sore or has been set very high. When your dentist places the dental filling, they should fix it at the appropriate height. Nonetheless, it only sometimes happens.

    You could also have mild pain from a filling if your tooth filling is yet to be fixed. There are many kinds of tooth fillings, and the time spent creating them for each setting differs. The dental filling options depend on your dentist’s recommendation and whether a cavity is in its early stages or severe.

    Your Tooth Cavity Might Need Further Drilling

    Regarding a dental filling, you could experience mild pain as your tooth develops sensitivity due to the drilling performed on your tooth. Depending mainly on the seriousness of your cavity, your doctor can drill deep to cover the decayed tooth, which does not always involve pain.

    If you experience pain during dental treatment, the pain will cease within seven days. However, consult your physician if your recent tooth filling becomes painful.

    Your Dentist Could Have Applied a Raincoat

    You can also have pain in your tooth beside the dental filling if your doctor places a raincoat over the tooth. A raincoat is a protector made for your teeth, placed around your tooth during filling. The tooth protector is a tiny rubber sheet.

    All your teeth are supposed to be pain-free within seven or 14 days. If pain persists, contacting your dentist is essential to ensure your oral health is okay.

    How to Manage Tooth Sensitivity

    Tooth sensitivity after dental fillings should disappear within four weeks. Please call your dentist if the sensitivity persists.

    You can reduce the sensitivity by:

    You might require a root canal if you have pulpitis that does not resolve independently.

    Taking Care of Your Composite Filling

    One way to increase your dental filling longevity is to take care of your fillings.

    You should brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day. Using a soft-bristled toothbrush removes bacteria and food particles from your mouth that could eat away at your teeth and cause cavities. Fluoride toothpaste prolongs the lifespan of your dental fillings. If you experience tooth sensitivity, consider using another toothpaste brand.

    Ensure that you brush your teeth gently. Brushing too hard or longer can wear down your enamel, exposing your dentin. Dentin has small holes with nerve endings; when triggered, you can experience tooth sensitivity and pain.

    Floss once a day. Flossing removes food particles that brushing did not reach.

    You should visit your dentist twice a year. During your dental visit, your dentist will evaluate your oral health, perform a neck and head exam, and review your mouth for any signs of oral health conditions. Next, they will clean your teeth and stress the importance of practicing good oral hygiene between visits. Please note that your dentist can recommend more frequent visits if you require additional assistance.

    Eating Tips After A Dental Filling

    You could experience a certain level of tenderness after undergoing a filling treatment. You can reduce discomfort by doing the following:

    What to Do After Your Composite Fillings Fall Out

    Tooth fillings do not last forever and can sometimes fall out. Some common reasons why your tooth filling can fall out include the following:

    If a tooth filling falls out, you should call your doctor immediately to make an appointment.

    Can Loose Dental Fillings Lead to Complications?

    If you fail to replace a dental filling within a couple of days, it can cause damage to the unprotected tooth.

    Food particles and bacteria can stick to the space, leading to decay. The missing tooth filling can also expose dentin (the tooth’s second layer under your hard outer enamel). Dentin is softer than enamel and more vulnerable to decay. Exposed dentin can also be highly sensitive.

    Further, tooth decay could require more extensive and expensive repair treatment options, like a root canal, crown, or extraction. That is why the earlier you replace your dental filling, the better.

    When or Why Would Your Dental Fillings Require Replacement?

    Although dental fillings are designed to be long-lasting, they will, at some point, need replacement, and scheduling a dental visit early is crucial. An early consultation is essential if you have:

    To assist you in preserving your smile and gums, here are indicators your dental filings require replacement:

    Your Prior Dental Filings Have Cracks

    Wearing away can cause the dental filings to develop cracks, even though this could take years. However, it can happen sooner if you are prone to teeth grinding.

    In many cases, you could notice a single crack in the dental filling, but in others, you could be unaware of a crack until your dentist performs an x-ray during your dental visit.

    Note that openings in your teeth, even small ones, could give bacteria access to your tooth and lead to decay. Therefore, you should replace your tooth composite fillings as a matter of urgency.

    Tooth Sensitivity After Drinking Cold Drinks

    If any tooth is overly sensitive to sugary, cold, or hot drinks or foods, it probably has a crack in or around the dental filling, although you cannot see it yet.

    A crack in the dental filling permits bacteria to invade the space, exposing the highly sensitive inner pulp and causing sensitivity and discomfort.

    Hurting Tooth

    If you are experiencing throbbing pain in your tooth filling, it can be a sign that it has become weak and has a cavity. It could develop into an infection if left unattended, requiring extensive treatment like an extraction or root canal.

    You Had a Tooth Injury

    If you receive a blow on your teeth and sustain a tooth fracture, tooth restorations like dental fillings can become loosened, chipped, or fully dislodged if an injury occurs. Consider consulting your dentist immediately.

    Discolored Dental Filling

    If you have composite resin dental fillings, the tooth-colored fillings could become slightly yellowish or darker over time. A dental filling replacement will restore the tooth’s appearance and give you a more appealing, lovely smile.

    Your Dental Fillings are Old

    Composite dental fillings can last up to 15 years. If your dental fillings are aged and have begun to deteriorate, receiving a replacement before they crack is vital.

    Find a Restorative Dental Practice Near Me

    Preventing tooth decay and cavities can be challenging. Even with daily flossing and brushing, your teeth and mouth are prone to side effects from medications, plaque, and bacteria. If you are experiencing a cavity, the doctor can recommend composite fillings. At The Lakewood Dentist, we can help you improve your self-esteem, smile, appearance, and confidence. Composite dental fillings are an effective and safe method to reinstate your teeth’s integrity, prevent further damage, and alleviate discomfort and pain, keeping your oral health healthy. Please call our office at 562-423-1441 to book your dental appointment and get answers to your questions.

    Get Your Confidence Back and Smile. Don’t Wait!



    Find a Dentists Near Me

    Your smile is one of your defining features, and you should trust your oral and general health to an upstanding dental practice. The experienced team at The Lakewood Dentist is happy to be your family’s primary resource for practical and gentle dental services. With the proper care, you can enjoy a healthy, beautiful, and lasting smile, and we are excited to assist you in reaching your goals! Whether your smile needs restorative care to repair damaged teeth, cosmetic care to enhance your smile’s appearance, or you are looking for a new dentist to care for your family, we have your ultimate solution.

    Our friendly dentists welcome patients throughout Lakewood to discover why many choose us to meet their oral health needs. Whether you want to establish ongoing care, are new to the area, or want to discover how state-of-the-art technology can assist you feel and look your best, our practice has the technology, personalized approach, and skills you deserve. We will ensure you are comfortable during your visit.

    Contact our friendly team today at 562-423-1441 to learn more about our broad range of services and to get started!