Dental fillings are one of the best methods of restoring decayed and damaged teeth to their full functionality and sparkling appearance. Of the very many types of Dental fillings available, such as gold, silver amalgam, ceramic or porcelain, or glass ionomer fillings, composite resin or tooth-colored fillings are the most popular.
Composite or white fillings have nearly replaced the need for silver amalgam material for teeth restoration.
To place such a filling, the dentists at Bright White Dental Centre remove and clean the decay from the tooth, neatly shape the cavity in preparation of the filling material, add a bonding adhesive to increase strength of the filling itself and then layer the composite resin in thin layers or sections which are hardened individually by the use of a high intensity curing light.
Composite resins or tooth-colored fillings provide good durability and resistance to fractures in small to mid-size fillings which can withstand the moderate pressure from the consistent stress of chewing. Here are some of the benefits of composite fillings.
The biggest advantage of composite fillings is the superior aesthetics provided by the tooth colored material. The shade and color of the composite resin can be closely matched to the color of the existing natural dentition, hence making these fillings particularly well suited for visible parts of the teeth, especially the front teeth.
Composite resin fillings prove durable and long-lasting because they actually chemically bond to the tooth structure via micro-pores. This provides further support to the weakened walls of the structure of a decaying or damaged tooth. In addition, the composite resin fillings are popular because they may be used not only as filling materials for decaying teeth, they are also used for the restoration of chipped, misshapen, broken, or worn teeth.
Moreover, as these composite fillings are chemically bonded to the tooth, they require only the necessary minimum removal of tooth structure as compared to the silver amalgam fillings which require a certain depth and shape for adequate retention of the filling material. The white composite fillings not only improve the health of the teeth, they do so without marring the appearance with dark and unsightly fillings.
As any dental procedure, dental fillings also come with certain risks, drawbacks and limitations. There is no known severe health risks associated with the use of composite white fillings; however, the most prominent of the disadvantages of composite fillings are as follows:
- Some patients feel pain when biting down, chewing, grinding or applying pressure to the teeth in the days following the dental filling procedure
- In rare cases, some patients may experience sensitivity to hot and cold sensations in the weeks after the filling
- As compared to silver amalgam fillings, the composite white fillings wear out faster (in 7 to ten years as compared to 15 for amalgam).
- Depending on where used, composite fillings may be chipped off of the tooth
- Due to the sensitivity of the material to moisture during application, the process of filling cavities with a composite material requires a longer chair-side time.
- Composite fillings are almost twice the cost of amalgam fillings, often rendering them unaffordable to some patients.
- Recurrent decay is much more prevalent in composite fillings than with amalgam or gold fillings
- Composite filling materials are technique sensitive materials. They require specific handling and care during application. And while most dentists are skilled in composite fillings, the level of skill varies which can have a significant impact of the longevity of the restoration itself.