Alicia Almeida, DMD
Smiles for a Lifetime

Smiles for a Lifetime

We are committed to excellence. By providing our patients with exceptional dentistry and personalized care, our patients return to our office again and again because they recognize the value we offer.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Composite Restorations

How can we help you?

Choosing a dentist to take care of your family's health is a big decision! We know making the right choice is important and we are here to answer any questions you have regarding your treatment. Some of the most common questions we hear are listed below. If you do not see yours on the list, give us a call. We are happy to help.

Composite Restorations

In its early stages, a cavity usually does not hurt. Your teeth are made up of layers. The protective outer layer is made of enamel, the hardest substance in your body. Underneath your enamel is a softer bony layer called dentin. The internal layer that houses your nerve is called pulp.

Decay occurs when bacteria soften the protective enamel layer of your tooth. You can often avoid decay with a healthy diet, brushing, and flossing. Professional dental cleanings help to remove tartar from the areas of your teeth that your toothbrush and floss alone cannot reach.

Decay can grow quickly or slowly depending on a number of factors such as your home care habits, fluoride use, diet, and professional cleanings. By the time decay causes pain, it is often in the very advanced stages and may have caused irreparable damage to your tooth, requiring a root canal or an extraction.

We use digital x-rays to diagnose decay in its earliest stages. By using high-resolution imaging, we can often prevent decay from becoming painful and putting your health at risk.

When detected early enough, we can repair your tooth with a composite restoration. Our restorations will match the color of your tooth and feel smooth and natural. With proper care, restorations can last many years and provide comfort, protection, and stability for your tooth.

With all the news today about mercury and the effect on health, it is natural to question whether you should worry about your old amalgam fillings that contain mercury. Despite the fact that the American Dental Association has said that the small amounts of mercury in fillings are within the safe range for humans, many people still do not like the idea of having them in their mouths.

Generally, unless a filling is breaking down, we do not recommend removing it. Amalgam fillings are often larger than their composite counterparts because they require a larger portion of your tooth to be removed to place them. Disrupting them may cause your tooth to fracture, requiring a dental crown.

Removing silver fillings requires us to eliminate them from your tooth. If you do want them removed for cosmetic reasons, or just as a preference, we will use a rubber dam to prevent your from ingesting any amalgam material.

Most restorations, especially those placed early in life will require replacement at some point because they wear down or crack. When that time comes, we will gladly replace your amalgam fillings with a composite restoration or protective dental crown to improve your appearance while still providing strength and protection to your smile.

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