With recent advances in science and technology, there are now many types of filling materials available to a dental patient. Of course, each has its own advantages (and disadvantages), and a frank discussion with the dentist will reveal the best options for restoring your teeth. Composite fillings are used widely today, primarily because the fillings are tooth colored, and they closely match the colour of existing teeth. For the front teeth, and other visible areas, a composite filling is much more aesthetically pleasing, and provides the required restorative function.
At the Accolade Dental Centre, we’ll advise you on the best option. It may depend on the location of the tooth that requires filling, or perhaps on the amount of “bite pressure” of the tooth that needs filling (we bite down hard on our molars for instance). For small and medium-size fillings exposed to moderate chewing pressure, composite fillings are ideal. The filling provides good durability and resistance to fracture, and is especially desirable for those patients who prefer that their fillings look natural, and match the color of their other teeth.
The truth is, no dental filling will last forever. Like many other dental restorations, composite fillings aren’t permanent and may require replacement sometime in the future. However, they are very durable, will last many years, and will provide a clean, beautiful smile. Patients at the Accolade Dental Centre opt for composite fillings for various reasons: they may have a chipped or cracked tooth; they may want to close up a gap between two teeth;
or there may be a broken or decayed tooth that needs repair. Best of all, it can usually be completed in one office visit.
The process of placing composite fillings is simple and straightforward. The tooth is numbed, and the dentist removes any existing decay. The tooth is then thoroughly cleaned and carefully prepared prior to placing the new filling. If there is decay near the tooth nerve, a special medication is applied to the area in order to provide additional protection. The composite filling is then precisely placed, shaped, and polished. The repaired tooth is restored to its original shape and function, and very quickly everything feels natural and normal.
In the short term, some patients experience sensitivity to hot and cold after a composite filling is placed, but this sensation quickly subsides. The advantages, however, are immediate – the filling looks and feels exactly like the rest of the teeth. During future office visits, the hygienist team at the Accolade Dental Centre will keep an eye on previous restorative work and make sure that all is well. And in keeping with their preventive approach to dental health, they encourage patients to maintain a dental health regimen so that serious problems can be avoided.
Ultimately, the best scenario is not to have dental fillings. And as we all know, prevention is the best approach. In short, good dental health, along with a good diet, will dramatically decrease the risk of cavities and disease. At the Accolade Dental Centre, we’ll help you achieve those aims.