Composite Filling Basics from Primary Dental Care

At Primary Dental Care, which is located in Garden Grove, California, it is rare for us to see an adult patient who does not have at least one composite filling. Of the many dental treatments and procedures that we offer, composite filling is one of the most basic and commonly employed.

The Purpose

A Composite filling is used to alleviate problems associated with minor tooth decay. In essence, a filling is utilized to fill a cavity after it has been cleaned of decay. The filling prevents further decay by keeping the agents that cause the condition out of the vulnerable areas.

Tooth decay is a result of specific types of bacteria contained in your plaque interacting with carbohydrates and sugars in your food. When these elements combine, they create an acidic environment that erodes the enamel on your teeth. When enamel, which is a hard, protective coating, is compromised the dentin layer is exposed. The dentin layer is much softer and more vulnerable to the formation of cavities than the outer enamel.

Although the breakdown of enamel is a fairly long process, once the dentin is exposed and a cavity ensues, the condition of a tooth will quickly deteriorate. Before the decay progresses much further, it’s important to get the cavity filled.

Decay Progression

If it is not caught in time, decay can spread to the inner part of the tooth, where the nerves are located. Along with being extremely painful, a cavity at this stage can lead to infection, and/or it may become abscessed. Both of these conditions can be dangerous, as well as painful. Sometimes, in order to save a tooth that has been severely damages, a root canal is necessary. All of these situations are more complex to fix and more expensive to address than when your cavity could have been simply ameliorated with a composite filling.

Composite Filling Process

At Primary Dental Care, the process of fixing a cavity with a filling is fairly straightforward. After a cavity is detected, either through a visual exam or the use of x-rays, your dentist will start the filling process by applying a local anesthetic. This will numb the area, which allows the dentist to remove the decay in a painless manner.

Working with various instruments, including a high-speed drill and a high-pressure air-water syringe, the dentist removes the decay. Once the decay is eliminated from the tooth, the actual filling process begins.

A composite filling, which a combination or plastic and glass particles, is commonly used, as this is the most popular type. The reason why composites are normally chosen is due to the fact that they are very durable, bond quickly with the tooth, and mirror the color of your teeth. Thus, with this type of filling in place, it’s hard to tell that your tooth has been damaged at all.

First, in filling the tooth, a cleansing gel is applied, then a bonding agent, and, finally, the filling is worked into the tooth. An intense light, which helps the filling to set, is applied. Then the filling is checked to make sure that it conforms to your bite. If any adjustments need to be made by the dentist, they can do so now.

Eliminating the Need

Although most people eventually have at least one or two composite fillings, there are some basic practices that you can put into effect to eliminate your need to go though the process of having a tooth filled. These include brushing at least two times a day, flossing each day, and using an antibacterial mouthwash. Also, seeing your dentist every six months for an exam and cleaning will help reduce the risk of cavities and catch any decay before it develops into a major problems.

Call for a Checkup

Before you need to see us for a composite filling, call Primary Dental Care in Garden Grove, California, at 714-537-5700 for a dental exam and cleaning. If you are experiencing any pain, contact us immediately, and let us know how you’re feeling. We will expedite your appointment. Primary Dental Care is your family dentist in the greater Garden Grove area.