What is a composite filling?
When you develop a cavity, your dentist will remove the decay from your tooth and use a filling to cover or 'fill' the area where the decayed material was.
Fillings were traditionally made of a silver-coloured material known as amalgam, which was quite visible in comparison to the shade of a natural tooth. Other options emerged over time, 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 are they used?
Composite fillings are effective for repairing chipped or cracked teeth because they blend in with your tooth and have a natural appearance.
Tooth areas that sustain heavy use, such as the chewing surfaces of molars, are typically not good candidates for a composite filling.
Due to their lower strength when compared to amalgam, some dental plans will not cover the cost of composite fillings in these areas. Consult your dentist to determine which type is best for you.
Why Composite Fillings?
- Composite fillings blend with your natural teeth, making them virtually invisible.
- 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 durable and can withstand moderate pressure and usage.
- They are well-suited to small fillings and repairs.
- Composite can also be used to handle other cosmetic alterations, such as changing the colour or shape of your teeth.
How Long Do Composite Fillings Last?
While composite fillings are strong, they have a shorter life span than other filling materials. They typically last 7 years. If you maintain your composite fillings properly with good oral hygiene, you could get 10 years out of them.
Are Composite Fillings Safe?
The composite dental filling has become increasingly popular and many dentists say that composite resin causes no health concerns. 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 raised some important points. According to them, studies have failed to produce conclusive results regarding the use of BPA as a harmful component in resins. Furthermore, they believe that composite resins use a negligible amount of Bis-GMA, which is not harmful to patients. They concluded that health concerns about composite resins are unfounded and that there is insufficient evidence to prove BPA is a threat to human health.