Thanks to advances in technology, our patients in Airdrie Alberta have more options when it comes to choosing materials to fill cavities. Among the options that we offer at Bayside Dental & Orthodonticsare white fillings, also known as composite or tooth-coloured fillings.
Composite fillings are primarily made from a mixture of plastic resin and powdered glass. Since resins have a similar appearance to natural teeth, white fillings are typically used in front teeth.
When composite fillings first started to be used in dentistry, they were not considered strong enough to be used in the molars, where high-pressure chewing and grinding demands greater durability. But in the last decade, technology advances have allowed the use of white fillings in back teeth, offering good durability and fracture resistance in small to mid-size fillings.
So, our patients looking for a natural-looking tooth restoration can use the white fillings in their front or back teeth.
Benefits of white tooth filling include:
- Strong and durable
- Resistance to breakage
- Single appointment for fillings
- Maximum amount of tooth preserved
- Corrosion resistance
- Minimal risk of leakage if bonded to enamel only
- Resistance to further decay
- Low frequency of repair or replacement
Placing composite fillings
It usually takes more time to place a tooth-coloured filling compared to a metal filling, since the former requires that the tooth remains clean and dry when filling the cavity. Before we place the white filling, we will clean all decay from the damaged tooth and apply bonding material (glue) on the inside of the cavity.
The filling material will then be put into the hole in thin layers, using a special light to harden each layer. After the final layer of composite has hardened, we will shape the filling to fit the tooth so it looks and feels natural. Finally, we will polish the composite to prevent early wear and staining.
Cost of tooth fillings
Although prices vary from one clinic to the other, white fillings cost more than silver (amalgam) fillings. Sometimes the cost can be twice as high for composite as for amalgam, which is perhaps why most dental insurance plans only cover the cost of the composite restoration up to the price of an amalgam filling. You will then have to pay the rest.
Caring for your white fillings
After receiving your composite filling, it is not unusual to experience some sensitivity. Additionally, the shade of the filling can change slightly if you consume staining foods and drinks such as coffee and tea. To prevent this, some of our patients ask that we place a clear plastic coating over the filling to maintain its colour.
Although composites are attached to your tooth, which helps to support the remaining tooth structure, prevent breakage, and insulate the nerves from excessive temperature changes, we believe that prevention is the best treatment. You can significantly reduce your risk of cavities and other dental problems by simply brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing daily, proper nutrition with minimal sugar intake, and visiting Bayside Dental & Orthodonticsfor regular checkups.