Dental Services / Dental Fillings

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Composite Fillings in Rockford, IL

Overcome Dental Decay and Damage with Help from Dr. Tillis and His Team.

A tooth damaged by decay can be restored back to its normal function and shape with a filling. During a filling, the dentist will first remove the decayed tooth material, clean the affected area, and then fill the cleaned out cavity with a filling material. A filling also helps prevent further decay by closing off any cracks or spaces where bacteria can enter.

There are a variety of filling materials available including gold, silver, plastic and porcelain. Composite (plastic) resins create a more natural appearance because they are custom made to the exact color of your natural teeth. While white fillings may be less noticeable than other materials, they usually only last between 3 and 10 years. They may not be ideal for large fillings as they may chip or wear over time.

1. What are composite dental fillings?

Composite dental fillings are a type of tooth-colored filling used to repair and restore teeth that have been affected by decay, cracks, or fractures. They are made of a mixture of plastic resin and glass or ceramic particles, which can be matched to the color of your natural teeth.

2. How long do composite dental fillings last?

The lifespan of composite dental fillings can vary depending on several factors, including the size and location of the filling, your oral hygiene habits, and your bite force. On average, composite fillings can last for 5 to 10 years, but with proper care, they can last even longer.

3. Are composite fillings safe?

Yes, composite fillings are considered safe. They have been used in dentistry for many years and have a proven track record of success. Composite fillings are free from mercury, which is a concern associated with amalgam fillings.

4. How are composite fillings placed?

The process of placing a composite filling involves several steps:

  • The dentist will numb the area with a local anesthetic.
  • The decayed or damaged portion of the tooth will be removed.
  • The tooth will be cleaned and prepared for the filling.
  • The composite material will be applied in layers and hardened with a special light.
  • Once the filling is in place, it will be shaped, polished, and adjusted for a comfortable bite.

5. Can composite fillings stain?

Composite fillings can be prone to staining over time, especially if you consume staining substances like coffee, tea, or tobacco. However, modern composite materials are more resistant to staining than older versions. Your dentist can provide tips on maintaining the color of your composite fillings.

6. Can I eat and drink normally after getting composite fillings?

Yes, you can eat and drink normally after getting composite fillings. Unlike amalgam fillings, composite fillings don't require any special precautions or waiting period. However, it's a good idea to avoid extremely hot or cold foods and beverages until the anesthetic wears off to prevent discomfort.

7. Are there any alternatives to composite fillings?

Yes, there are alternatives to composite fillings, including amalgam (silver) fillings and ceramic or porcelain inlays/onlays. Your dentist will assess your specific situation and recommend the most suitable option for your needs.

8. Do composite fillings require special care?

Composite fillings don't require any special care beyond maintaining good oral hygiene practices. This includes brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings.