Barry H. Buchanan, DDS logo

Composite Fillings: A Complete Guide

When you have to get a filling, you might have a host of questions, particularly if you’re getting a composite filling. You might want to know just what a composite filling is and how it differs from a regular filling. This complete guide will answer all of your questions about composite fillings. 

What is a Composite Filling?

Basically, a composite filling is made of tooth-colored resin mixed with a filler. These fillings will either be thicker or contain more liquid, depending on what the filling is meant to achieve in your situation. 

If the filling needs to strengthen an area of a tooth, your dentist will make it thicker. If it needs to fill a cavity in a front tooth, the dental professional will make it more pliable as a liquid. The proportions of the resin and the filler determine its viscosity. 

Why Are Composite Fillings Recommended?

Composite fillings are very versatile. For example, they can fix defects on front teeth because, unlike traditional fillings, they are the same color as your teeth. This also means they will be less noticeable than a traditional filling. 

Composite fillings can help to fill any tooth that has decay, particularly if the area requires added strength. These filling types can also be great solutions to build up and restore worn teeth, as a result of grinding or erosion over time. 

Your dentist can also use composite fillings to create veneers or as an edge bond to change a tooth’s shape or size. They can also be ideal for replacing amalgam fillings. 

What Is the Composite Filling Procedure?

There are five stages for placing a composite filling: 

  1. Your dentist removes the decay in your tooth and shapes the cavity to prepare it for the filling. 
  2. Your dentist places etch (shampoo) over the filling area, and then properly rinses. 
  3. Your dentist places the bone layer (conditioner). This is an undercoat that increases the sticking strength, and it is set with a blue light. 
  4. The composite layers are added, and your dentist sets each layer with a blue light. The setting time is 30 seconds. 
  5. Your dentist will then polish and finish the composite filling so that it is shiny and blends with your natural teeth. 

How Much Does a Composite Filling Cost?

Composite fillings are more expensive than traditional amalgam fillings. They are made of more expensive materials, and the procedure to make them is more involved. It is possible, however, that your dental insurance may help with portions of these procedural costs.

Call Us with More Questions!

If you have additional questions about composite fillings or would like to book an appointment, we’re happy to help. The professionals at the office of Dr. Barry Buchanan are dedicated to helping you love your smile! Call our office today