What is a composite filling?
When a cavity has developed, the dentist will remove the decay from your mouth and use a filling to 'fill' or cover the area, replacing the decayed material.
Traditionally, silver-coloured amalgam fillings were common - and quite visible in contrast to the shade of a natural tooth. Other options gradually became available, one of which was composite.
Tooth-coloured composite fillings are a mix of ceramic and plastic, making them an excellent option for teeth that may be visible or exposed when you smile or speak.
When are they used?
Effective for repairing cracked or chipped teeth, composite fillings have a natural appearance and will blend in with your existing teeth.
Tooth areas that are heavily used such as molar chewing surfaces are typically not good candidates for a composite fillings.
Due to their reduced strength in comparison to amalgam, some dental plans won't cover the cost for composite fillings in these areas. Talk to your dentist to determine which type of filling best suits your needs.
Why Composite Fillings?
- They are durable and can withstand moderate pressure and usage.
- Composite fillings blend with your natural teeth, making them virtually invisible.
- Composite can also be used to handle other cosmetic alterations, such as changing the colour or shape of your teeth.
- The material is slightly flexible resulting in reduced drilling, and preserving more of your natural tooth.
- The resin material in composite fillings creates a strong bond with your tooth.
- They are well-suited to small fillings and repairs.
How Long Do Composite Fillings Last?
Composite fillings, while durable, tend to have a shorter life span than other filling materials. They tend to last about 7 years. You might get 10 years out of a composite filling if the fillings are well taken care of through proper oral hygiene habits.
Are Composite Fillings Safe?
The composite dental filling has become increasingly popular and many dentists say that composite resin causes no health concern. Both composite filling and sealants are made of resin material, containing BPA which releases for some time in the mouth after filling replacement.
However, the dental community pointed out some significant facts. According to them, studies have failed to underline any conclusive results regarding the use of BPA in the resins as a harmful component. In addition to that, they believe that composite resins use a negligible amount of Bis-GMA, which is not detrimental to the patients. They concluded health concerns regarding composite resins are baseless and do not have substantial evidence to prove BPA as a threat to human health.