Protect Your Smile With Fillings
A small crack or cavity in a tooth may not seem like a big deal, but it can put your entire smile at risk if not treated on time. Fortunately, at Panneton Dental Group, our Nebraska dentists provide composite fillings to fix various dental issues while restoring your teeth’ appearance.
Read our guide to learn more about this cosmetic treatment and how Dr. Mark Panneton delivers excellent care to patients in Douglas County and Sarpy County, NE.
What Are Composite Fillings?
Composite fillings, also known as tooth-colored fillings, replace missing or damaged tooth structures from decay, cracks, or chips. They’re made of a durable composite resin with materials consisting of glass, porcelain, and quartz instead of metal. This simple cosmetic treatment fills in unwanted gaps and restores your tooth’s appearance and bite force. Composite resin allows for a natural-looking restoration that can last for years with proper care.
The Benefits of Composite Fillings
When compared to silver fillings, composite fillings offer several benefits:
- Natural-looking appearance
- Insulation from galvanic shock
- Non-toxic/ hypoallergenic
- Temperature resistant
- Preserves enamel
- Strengthens teeth
- Improves self-confidence
Composite Fillings vs. Silver Fillings
Composite fillings are a more aesthetically pleasing option. There are reasons why composite fillings are our patient’s favorite cosmetic restorations:
- Composite fillings can match the tooth’s color, while amalgam (silver) fillings stand out.
- Composite fillings are ideal for patients who are allergic to metal.
- Unlike silver fillings, composite fillings don’t require much enamel removal.
- Silver fillings aren’t as durable as composite fillings, and can expand and contract with temperature changes, potentially causing tooth fractures.
The Composite Fillings Process
Here’s a general overview of what you can expect during the filling process:
- Preparation: Dr. Panneton will numb the area around the tooth to minimize any discomfort before starting the procedure. Once you can’t feel anything around the tooth, he’ll remove the decayed part of the tooth.
- Filling Placement: After removing the decayed tissue and cleaning out the cavity from the tooth, your Omaha dentist will place the composite filling material. We’ll harden the composite resin with a special light that allows it to dry quickly. Once the filling is in place, Dr. Panneton will shape and polish the filling material to blend in with the rest of the tooth.
Caring for Your Restorations
It’s normal to experience some sensitivity for a few days after the procedure. Dr. Panneton will provide you with aftercare instructions and prescribe pain medications if necessary. It’s crucial to follow these instructions to ensure your restoration heals smoothly:
- Gently brush and floss around the fillings for a few days
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste
- Avoid alcohol-based mouthwash, as it can wash away the resin
- Avoid hard, chewy, tough, and sticky foods
- Avoid grinding your teeth
- Visit your dentist twice a year for routine visits
Frequently Asked Questions
Composite fillings can last between five and 15 years before needing a replacement. To get the most out of your restoration, practice and maintain good oral hygiene habits and attend biannual appointments for exams and cleanings. During these routine visits, your dentist will evaluate your oral health and dental restorations to confirm all is good.
The cost of your composite fillings varies depending on factors like how many teeth require restorations, the extent of the damage, and your insurance coverage plan. Speak with your insurance provider to understand the benefits you’re entitled to. If the coverage isn’t enough, ask your dentist if their office provides in-house saving plans and financing options.
Yes, composite fillings can stain over time. To preserve the look of your filling, your dentists will recommend you continue to practice regular oral hygiene and visit their office for regular dental exams and professional cleanings.
Some foods and drinks that can stain your restorations include:
- Red wine
- Dark berries
- Dark soda