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Hopkins Dental Clinic
Eric Hopkins, D.D.S.
18 East Dunloup, Shawnee, OK 74804

Composite Fillings

There are many types of filling materials available, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.  You can discuss the best options for restoring your teeth with Dr. Hopkins. Composite fillings, along with silver amalgam fillings, are the most widely used today. Gold is also an option in the form of inlays or onlays. Gold will typically outlast the other two materials.  Because composite fillings are tooth colored, they can be closely matched to the color of existing teeth, and are more aesthetically suited for use in front teeth or the more visible areas of the teeth.

A composite (tooth colored) filling is used to repair a tooth that is affected by decay, cracks, fractures, etc. The decayed or affected portion of the tooth will be removed and then filled with a composite filling.

As with most dental restorations, composite fillings are not permanent and may someday have to be replaced.  They are very durable, and will last many years, giving you a long lasting, beautiful smile.

Positives:

    Most aesthetic of the economical fillings

    Good strength and durability (but less than amalgam and gold)

    Moderate duration

Negatives:

    Susceptible to staining

    Not self sealing

    Different thermal expansion than the tooth

    

Reasons for composite fillings:

  • Chipped teeth.
  • Closing space between two teeth.
  • Cracked or broken teeth.
  • Decayed teeth.
  • Worn teeth.
How are composite fillings placed?
 
Composite fillings are usually placed in one appointment.  While the tooth is numb, Dr. Hopkins will remove decay as necessary.  The space will then be thoroughly cleaned and carefully prepared before the new filling is placed.  If the decay was near the nerve of the tooth, a special medication procedure. a pulp cap, will be applied for added protection.  The composite filling will then be precisely placed, shaped, and polished, restoring your tooth to its original shape and function.

It is not abnormal to experience some transient sensitivity to cold when composite fillings are first placed, however this should subside shortly after your tooth acclimates to the new filling. If not, it may need further treatment to correct the sensitivity.

You will be given care instructions at the conclusion of your treatment.  Good oral hygiene practices, eating habits, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new fillings.