What is a Composite Filling?
Composite fillings are tooth-colored quartz-like materials that are used to fill teeth that have cavities caused by tooth decay. Once the decayed material has been removed and the tooth is cleaned, the composite filling is placed on the tooth, layer by layer. Every layer is hardened with the use of a “curing” light before the next one is applied. The dentist shapes and polishes the tooth to produce a virtually invisible restoration.
Am I a Candidate for a Composite Filling?
Patients who have tooth decay, those who want to replace their traditional silver amalgam fillings, and individuals who want to maintain a beautiful smile.
Composite vs Amalgam Fillings
Composite fillings are not only aesthetically pleasing, but they are also non-toxic and eco-friendly, as they do not contain mercury (silver amalgam fillings contain a variety of metals, including traces of mercury). Moreover, they bond directly to the tooth’s surface, making them stronger. They protect the tooth from fractures because healthy tooth structure does not have to be removed prior to the placement of a composite filling.
Composite Fillings Disadvantages
They cost more than amalgam fillings because composite material is more expensive. Plus, the process is more difficult and takes more time. It also lasts less than half as long as amalgam fillings. However, this investment will go a long way and the money you initially spent on composite fillings will be offset. You will not only enjoy different health benefits, but your chances of having fractured teeth will also be reduced significantly.
Composite Filling Alternatives
Inlays/Onlays offer outstanding long-term stability and may be used as an alternative. If there is extensive decay, crowns or inlays/onlays have to be used.