What are composite fillings? The conservative, natural-looking way to treat cavities in Chevy Chase, MD

It is “non-negotiable” that all procedures at Hosaka Dental in Chevy Chase, MD, balance the desire to restore or create a stunning smile with the requirement to maintain or elevate health, function, and comfort. With that being said, composite fillings prepared and placed by Drs Erick Hosaka and Valerie Cassis are a seamless fit with these principles and the other aesthetic and safe treatments available at our D.C.- and Bethesda-area office. 

A modern (superior) treatment option

Over the past 150 years, dentists have used a metallic mix to “fill in” decayed areas (cavities), rebuilding teeth. This mixture, amalgam, does not resemble natural teeth structure. It appears silver and sticks out in the smile in an unpleasant way. Plus, some patients have sensitivities to the metals that are used to make dental amalgams. The fillings that we place at Hosaka Dental are made from composite resin, an advanced dental plastic perfectly color-matched to blend in with the surrounding natural teeth. Additionally, this material is formulated with glass-like compounds that mimic the appearance of natural enamel down to how light is reflected off the resin’s surface. So, composites look like natural teeth! 

Modern resin materials are more than a thing of beauty; they are designed to withstand significant stress and wear and tear from behaviors such as grinding and breaking down food. In addition, the conservative techniques that are used in the placement of composites support sustained strength and durability. 

Fillings – in six steps

If we determine that fillings are the most appropriate way to treat cavities, Drs Hosaka or Chassis will generally: 

  1. Administer a numbing anesthetic precisely to the treatment site. So, you won’t feel anything. 
  2. Remove remaining damage from the tooth. You start with a clean slate again!
  3. A specialized “bonding agent” is placed on the surface of the area to be treated. 
  4. The composite material is pliable and putty-like when first applied to the treatment site, and it is applied in layers. 
  5. As each layer is applied, the composite is hardened with a curing light. 
  6. The “finishing touch” involves shaping, refining, and polishing the tooth. It looks untouched, like the damage never affected the tooth. 

Depending on the size of the cavity and the number of cavities to be treated, fillings can be placed in a single, 30- to 120-minute appointment. Afterward, treated teeth should be cared for just like unaltered teeth – with consistent brushing, flossing, and regular hygiene appointments at Hosaka Dental. Contact us today at (301) 686-5255 to schedule your visit.