If you have landed yourself with a cavity, your dentist will likely recommend getting a filling as soon as possible. Now, for us “older” folks, you may remember having a filling or two in your life that had a silver look to it– this is known as an amalgam filling. Nowadays, there are several types of fillings your dentist may use, but the most popular by far is the composite resin filling.
Composite fillings have become wildly popular over the years for their ability to blend seamlessly with your natural teeth and stay durable over time. Because of this, the composite resin that is used for fillings, can also be used for veneers, chipped or broken teeth, inlays and crowns.
In this blog, we’re going to focus on composite fillings specifically, outlining what this material is and what to expect if you find yourself in a situation where you need a composite filling.
What Are Composite Fillings?
As mentioned, composite fillings are recognized widely for their natural appearance. The composite resin material can be customized to match the shade of your natural teeth, meaning no one will have a clue that you had a cavity. So what is this material anyway? It’s a mixture of acrylic resin that is reinforced with a powdered glass filler.
Benefits of Composite Fillings
- Composite resin is a durable material.
- Composite fillings offer a natural appearance.
- Composite fillings can be completed within one office visit.
- Composite fillings can be used to fix cosmetic concerns such as chipped or broken teeth.
Drawbacks of Composite Fillings
- Composite fillings have a shorter lifespan than amalgam fillings.
- Composite fillings can cost more than amalgam fillings.
- In some circumstances, composite fillings can take longer to apply because of the layering process.
Composite Filling Procedure
Another perk of composite fillings? Unless there are special circumstances, a composite filling is quick, painless and can be completed within one visit. As with any cavity, your dentist will numb the area. Once the decay has been removed and the tooth is properly prepped, your dentist will begin layering the composite material upon the tooth. A light will be used to cure the composite resin material, making it hard and durable for years to come. After that, all that is left to do is a little polishing!
How Long Do Composite Fillings Last?
While composite fillings are popular for their seamless integration, natural appearance and durability, that durability can only last for so long. Afterall, we use our teeth every day to bite, chew and grind all kinds of foods– so it’s only fair that they wear down over time.