Composite Fillings St. Louis
Composite Fillings in St. Louis. Treating cavities and other tooth damage with composite fillings can help bring back your smile and boost your confidence. At Plaza Dental, we specialize in restorative and cosmetic dentistry to give people in St. Louis tooth-colored fillings that are identical to their other teeth. If you have damaged teeth, or just need a local St. Louis dentist for your standard cleaning, call Plaza Dental today at 314-361-1818 or make an appointment online.
What Are Composite Fillings?
Composite fillings are a blend of quartz and plastic resin and a filler of finely ground, glass-like particles. Our dentist team can customize the fillings so they match your teeth. They’re becoming an increasingly popular alternative to dental amalgam fillings for people in St. Louis who need a cavity filled because they look more natural, are cheaper, and amalgam fillings carry the risk of inhaling a small amount of mercury vapor.
In addition to cavities, composite fillings can improve your St. Louis smile by fixing:
The Composite Fillings Procedure
Your St. Louis dentist will typically start by thoroughly cleaning the affected area and then applying a local anesthetic to numb the gums and tooth. If you are getting a composite filling because of decay, your dentist will scrape away the decayed parts of the tooth or remove unwanted bits of the tooth with a drill. Then, the soft composite filling will be applied in layers. After each layer, your dentist in St. Louis will harden the composite filling using a UV light — a process known as photopolymerization — so that the next layer can be applied.
Once the entire composite filling is in place, your dentist at Plaza Dental will shape it to match the rest of your teeth, trim off any excess, and then polish the tooth. While the numbness may not wear off for several hours, and you may experience sensitivity to hot and cold foods and beverages at first, generally once the composite fillings have been polished, they immediately restore both the appearance and functionality of your teeth.
Advantages to Composite Fillings
In addition to composite fillings, there are other fillings such as also gold, silver amalgam, ceramic, and glass ionomer. In addition to cost and the natural look, we’ve found that many St. Louis residents prefer composite because:
- It is more malleable, which means it can be used to fill smaller cavities and less of your actual, non-decayed tooth has to be chipped away to make room for it.
- Its versatility makes it ideal for fixing cracks and gaps between teeth.
- The material isn’t affected by temperature, so it doesn’t lead to long-term tooth sensitivity.
- It bonds to your existing tooth, which makes it much less likely to fall out, and helps protect and insulate the sensitive tooth underneath the filling.
- It is easily repaired, so slight damage does not lead to a full replacement like it would for other fillings.
- It can usually be completed in one visit to your St. Louis dentist, while other fillings require a mold to be made and then sent to a lab.
How Long Do Composite Fillings Last?
One downside to composite fillings is that they tend to be less durable than other types of fillings. While gold fillings can last up to 15 years, composite fillings will generally last between 5 and 10 years. The relatively low cost and natural look still make composite fillings in St. Louis the preferred choice for many people.
Signs You May Need a Composite Filling
While a chipped, broken, or worn tooth is easily viewable, other underlying problems are not as obvious. Some signs you may need composite fillings in St. Louis are:
- Bleeding of the gums may be a sign of gingivitis or other gum disease, which can lead to tooth decay and much more severe problems if untreated.
- Tooth pain or persistent toothaches are often signs that your teeth are suffering from decay.
- Persistent bad breath, officially called halitosis, can often be a sign of serious dental conditions and tooth decay.
While your St. Louis dentist at Plaza Dental can help you with any number of dental problems, they’ll always recommend practicing good oral hygiene and preventive care such as brushing and flossing and getting professional cleanings and polishings twice a year.
Composite Fillings in St. Louis | Dental Plaza
We know that having damaged teeth can affect your appearance and confidence, which is why we’ve dedicated our practice to helping St. Louis residents achieve the smile of their dreams. No matter the extent of the damage to your teeth, Plaza Dental is here to restore them along with your self-image. We have a special interest in helping St. Louis residents who are nervous about going to the dentist, as we believe a great smile and healthy mouth are something everyone should have. If you need composite fillings in St. Louis, call Plaza Dental today at 314-361-1818 or contact us online.