What Are Fillings?

Composite resin fillings are made of a durable type of plastic and colored to look like your natural teeth. In the past, dental fillings were made of metal such as silver or gold, but those tend to be very noticeable and corrode over time. Composite resin fillings were invented as an alternative and are covered by most dental insurance plans. For patients with a cavity, broken filling, or old mercury or metal fillings, composite resin fillings can be a desirable replacement. Older fillings can be removed and replaced with composite resin that is color matched to your teeth, offering you a much more appealing and natural look. Composite resin can also be used to improve the look or strength of any tooth, not just those with cavities.

How Are Composite Resin Fillings Installed?

A local anesthetic will be applied to the affected area. Then the dentist will removed the decayed portions of tooth using drills, sanders, or even a laser. Since the composite resin can be bonded directly to the tooth in layers, your dentist can preserve as much of the original tooth as possible. If the decay is close to the nerve, a special coating can be used for protection. An etching chemical is then put on the tooth to open up pores and roughen the surface of the tooth enamel. This will allow for a stronger, more effective bond. Then the composite resin is applied and cured or hardened with an intense light. Composite resin fillings are applied in layers and each layer is hardened before applying the next. When the filling is fully in place, your dentist will use a special paper to adjust the height of the filling according to your bite alignment. After the desired size is reached, the tooth is polished. A tooth may require additional protection if the enamel is too brittle or if a root canal has damaged the structure. In such cases, a crown may be installed to cover the tooth.

The Cost of Composite Resin Fillings

The final price of a filling can vary for a few different reasons. The number of fillings needed, the type of materials used, the choice of dental office, and which part of the country you are in can all affect the total cost.

Financing Dental Fillings

Cavities left untreated can lead to much more serious dental and health problems. That’s why it is important to get them taken care of as quickly as possible. If you are unable to afford the cost of dental fillings or you need help with dental costs, click here to learn more about Dental and the different financing options available to you.