If we find there is decay, we will explain your options regarding the decay including: 1. Do nothing and monitor the area 2. Place silver diamine fluoride which is a liquid that can temporarily help stop the progression of decay 3. Place a conservative filling where appropriate. We only use the latest materials for fillings and do not place metal fillings.
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.
Reasons for composite fillings:
How are composite fillings placed?
Composite fillings are placed in one appointment. While the tooth is numb, your dentist will remove decay as needed. 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 may be applied for added protection. The composite filling will then be precisely placed, shaped, and polished, restoring your tooth shape and function.
It is normal to experience soreness at the site of injection and possible sensitivity to cold when composite fillings are first placed. Often this will subside shortly after your tooth acclimates to the new filling. You may also find that your bite has slightly changed. As long as you are not biting first on the tooth that was just worked on, this change is also temporary. If you have pain when biting or chewing on a tooth that has just had a filling, usually an easy small adjustment to the bite is indicated (no need to get numb). If this is the case, the sooner you can come in, the better. If you wait months needing a bite adjustment, it will often take multiple visits to correct.
Anytime tooth structure is removed there is a risk of inflammation to the pulp or nerve of the tooth. Most of the time this is temporary. It is possible for the nerve to become so irritated that it swells within the tooth. The nerve is trapped within the tooth so there is only so much space for the nerve to swell. If the nerve tissue swells too much, it can cut off its circulation and die. At this point, the tooth will need a root canal and crown to restore the tooth. Symptoms of needing a root canal including lingering sensitivity to cold, being kept up at night by a toothache, and extreme sensitivity to hot.
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.