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Composite Restorations

Your smile is a valuable asset and when cavities occur, the “remedy” no longer has to diminish your smile’s natural beauty. Tooth-colored composite fillings let you keep your natural-looking smile and have the durability to withstand the wear-and-tear of daily life. Composite fillings are a mix of plastic and glass. In addition to fillings, the composite material is also used for cosmetic improvements, such as changing the color of teeth or reshaping disfigured teeth.

At Scottsdale Dental Arts, composite fillings are a popular choice as patients who are unhappy with the disfiguring look of silver-colored fillings have their amalgam fillings replaced with composite ones.

What are the advantages of composite fillings? The benefits of composite fillings include:

Aesthetics. Unlike metal or amalgam (silver) fillings, composite fillings look like a natural tooth. We blend the color to match your other teeth. This makes composites ideal for front teeth, where a silver filling would be unattractive.Composites can be shaped to resemble a real tooth.

Support. Composite fillings bond with the tooth, offering support to a tooth weakened by decay. In addition, less tooth needs to be removed to prepare for the composite filling as compared to an amalgam filling. Tooth material should be preserved whenever possible as it may be useful in future restorations.

Thermal Stresses. Amalgam fillings are more likely to expand and contract when exposed to hot and cold foods,leading to cracks in the surrounding tooth structure. The insulating qualities of composite fillings offer more protectionfrom destructive temperature swings.

Good Durability. Composite fillings are durable and resistant to fracture in small- to mid-size fillings. They are bonded directly to the tooth, lending strength to the remaining healthy tooth. Though strong, they cannot be used in every situation, including large cavities on posterior teeth. Composites have a softer nature than amalgams and wear more naturally, however, depending on lifestyle, a composite should last at least five years.

Versatility. In addition to filling cavities, the composite material can repair chipped, broken or worn teeth, or even be used to cosmetically enhance your smile.

What is the process?
Composite fillings are more conservative than amalgam fillings and are usually completed in one appointment. The
process includes:
Drying the tooth and making sure it stays dry.
Removing the decayed portion.
Placing the composite resin in layers in the tooth.
Hardening each layer using a special light.
Shaping the hardened composite to resemble a tooth and ensure a comfortable “bite.”
Polishing the composite to prevent staining and early wear.
If desired, a protective plastic coating can be placed over the composite to reduce staining.

Find Out More
If you are considering composites, please call our office at (480)860-8282 for a consultation. We can discuss the pros and cons of composites and review options based on your individual needs. There is no one best solution for every case, but by assessing your needs, we can advise you on appropriate treatments.