How a Composite Dental Filling Works

Posted on: March 1, 2021

Composite Fillings Davis, CA

A composite dental filling is a great way to restore a damaged tooth. This type of filling is tooth-colored, so it is indistinguishable from natural teeth. Learning more about how a composite dental filling works and when it is recommended can help you decide if you should visit the dentist for treatment.

Reviewing composite dental fillings and how they work

Composite dental fillings and amalgam fillings are the two main types of filling materials. Both have advantages and are recommended in different situations. The following is a review of what a composite dental filling is, how it is placed, and when a dentist might recommend composite fillings over amalgam ones. 

What is a composite dental filling?

A composite dental filling, also called a tooth-colored dental filling, is a common type of dental restoration. It is often used for more visible teeth and applied to the front surfaces of teeth, rather than for filling the biting surfaces of teeth. The main benefit of a composite dental filling is that it closely matches the natural color of teeth. While composite fillings are less durable than amalgam fillings, they still provide excellent longevity and can last for a decade or more in many instances. 

How is a composite dental filling placed?

The first step is to apply a numbing agent to the tooth receiving the filling. This prevents any discomfort for the patient. Decay is then removed from the tooth, and the tooth is thoroughly cleaned and dried. The composite dental filling is then applied to the tooth and smoothed and polished for a natural appearance. The procedure only takes one dental visit and is typically completed within an hour. 

When is a composite dental filling recommended?

A composite dental filling can fix a range of concerns. Most notably, they are used to fill dental cavities, but they can also be used to repair chips, cracks, worn-down teeth, and more. They are often recommended for front teeth rather than teeth in the back of the mouth. This is because composite fillings are more aesthetically pleasing than other filling materials. 

How long does a composite dental filling last?

A composite filling lasts between five and 15 years, depending on how well the filled tooth is cared for and the location of the tooth. These do not last as long as amalgam or gold fillings, but they still provide reliable longevity, and most patients do not experience any issues for at least several years. 

How to take care of your composite dental filling

Patients can care for their composite dental filling through good oral hygiene (brushing, flossing, etc.) and visiting the dentist regularly. Limiting the consumption of foods and drinks that are high in sugar or may cause stains is helpful as well. 

Contact us to learn more about a composite dental filling

You can reach our dental team by phone or email to schedule a consultation. During your consultation, we can discuss all filling material options and determine which one is right for your specific restoration needs.

Are you considering a dental filling in the Davis area? Get more information at

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