Composite Dental Fillings: What are they and when are they used?

Dental fillings are a common treatment option for cavities and minor damage and while there are many types, composite fillings are the most commonly used. Here, our Lethbridge dentists share some information about composite dental fillings and when they might be used.

Composite Fillings: what makes them different?

If you have a cavity then your dentist will clear out any decaying tooth matter and replace the cleared-out area with a dental filling to help protect your tooth.

Previously, the fillings used were amalgam which was silver-coloured and quite noticeable in the mouth. Over time, other options were developed, one of which was composite.

Composite fillings are a tooth-coloured mix of plastic and ceramic, making them an excellent option for teeth that are exposed or visible when you talk or smile.

When might composite fillings be used?

Composite fillings have become the traditional choice due to their similarity to the natural colour of teeth along with the ability to shape them after they have been cured in place.

The only areas where your dentist may advise against composite filling are areas that spend lots of time chewing food such as the molars.

Some dental plans won't cover the cost of composite fillings in these areas due to their reduced strength in comparison to amalgam. Speak with your dentist to determine which type best suits your needs.

What makes composite fillings a popular choice?

  • Composite fillings are tooth coloured which can help them blend in.
  • Less drilling is necessary since the material can flex into place.
  • The resin material in composite fillings creates a strong bond with your tooth.
  • They are durable and can withstand moderate pressure and usage.
  • They are well-suited to small fillings and repairs.
  • Composite fillings can be used in conjunction with various cosmetic alterations.

Can I expect composite fillings to last a long time?

While you can expect composite fillings to function just as well as other types of fillings they may not last quite as long. 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 dental fillings a safe option?

Many dentists will agree that composite resin fillings do not pose any increased risk to your health. 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 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 that and do not have substantial evidence to prove BPA is a threat to human health.

If you have a cavity or cracked tooth and are in need of a dental filling,  contact our Lethbridge dentists today to schedule a consultation.

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