Many people have fillings, but with modern dentistry techniques, many people can choose a natural looking alternative – a composite or tooth-coloured (white) filling.
What are composite fillings?
- Fillings are used to fill holes (cavities) that have formed, usually as a result of decay or tooth wear.
- Before placing the filling, all of the decay is carefully removed.
- The area is washed clean and dried, and then a bonding agent is applied.
- A composite filling is then built up in layers, with each layer hardened by a special bright light.
- The top edge of the composite filling is then shaped to match the bite surface of the teeth.
What are composite fillings made of?
A composite resin is a tooth-coloured plastic mixture filled with glass (silicon dioxide) first introduced in the 1960s. Originally only used for front teeth because of their softer nature, modern improvements to their composition make them generically suitable today.
What are the benefits?
The main advantage of composite fillings is their aesthetic appeal. The main disadvantage is their life expectancy. White fillings have always been considered less long lasting than silver amalgam fillings but there are now new materials available with properties comparable to silver amalgam, and these are proving to be very successful.
The life expectancy of your composite filling can depend on the depth of cavity and its position in the mouth; your dentist is best positioned to advise you and we recommend seeking their advice before proceeding with any treatment, as they will consider your individual circumstances.
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