If you are interested in learning more about composite fillings, you have come to the right place. This article will explore how composite resins are used to treat cavities, as well as break down how the entire process works.
Composite fillings are a combination of plastic and glass. It is color matched to the patient's tooth so restorations can be made without compromising their appearance. Some composites have a thick consistency, while others come in liquid form. The thicker variety is typically used to restore teeth that handle massive forces, like the molars, while the fluid type is typically used on front teeth.
Composite fillings FAQs
Here are frequently asked questions about composite resins:
1. What can composites be used for?
Dental bonding has many uses in dentistry. It can be used to restore cracked, broken or chipped teeth. It can also be used to improve the appearance of a deformed tooth and fill up spaces between teeth. Composites are popular when it comes to fighting tooth decay. Unlike regular fillings, it is impossible to tell when a tooth has been fixed with composites.
2. How long does the treatment take?
Composites fillings take longer than regular fillings to apply, but the procedure still typically takes less than an hour for each tooth. Prior to the application of the composite, the patient's tooth needs to be prepared with an etching solution.
Once the etching solution has dried off, the composite is then applied to the tooth. It is typically has a putty-like consistency at this point. The composite is molded as needed to fill up the cavity and then hardened with ultraviolet light. The tooth is finally polished to finish the procedure.
3. How long will the restoration last?
Restorations made with composites can last up to seven years with good oral hygiene. It is also easy to repair composites if a piece breaks off or is otherwise damaged.
How cavities are diagnosed
Patients who have cavities experience symptoms like toothaches and increased sensitivity. During an evaluation, the dentist will visually examine the patient's mouth, looking for signs of tooth decay. X-rays will also be taken to see what is going on inside each tooth.
Once cavities are detected, the dentist will explain the patient's options to them. If the patient opts for composite fillings, the dentist might perform the treatment immediately or schedule an appointment for another day.
Here is what goes on during the treatment:
- If the patient needs a large filling, a shot of local anesthetic might be administered
- Decayed material will be extracted from the tooth being treated
- An etching solution is applied to the tooth, then rinsed off
- A conditioning layer of composite is placed on the tooth and is immediately hardened
- Layers of the composite are applied to the tooth; each layer is hardened as it is applied
- The composite is polished to make it shine like a real tooth
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