The vast majority of us will need a filling at some point in our lifetime – many people need several.
There are lots of reasons why people need fillings. From poor oral care which leads to cavities, and poor food and drink choices, through to injury, trauma or even just age.
But what are composite fillings? Here’s our guide to everything you need to know about composite fillings.
What Are Composite Fillings?
Dental composite fillings are tooth fillings that are coloured and designed to resemble the natural colour of your original tooth. This means that they are discreet enough to not impact the aesthetic appeal of your teeth.
Working in the same way as other types of fillings, dentistry professionals use this procedure in order to repair cracks or fix issues associated with decayed teeth by removing the decay and placing a composite filling in its place.
Composite Fillings Procedure
The composite fillings procedure is relatively straightforward and involves using composite filling layered on the affected teeth. Your dentist will gradually build up these layers until the hole in your tooth is completely closed.
Once this has been completed, ultraviolet light is then used in order to cure the filling in place and harden each layer.
What Are The Benefits Of Composite Fillings?
Composite fillings offer a number of benefits, including the following:
- Strong and durable
- The procedure can be completed with one single visit
- Require little removal of healthy tooth structure
- Bond extremely well to the enamel.
- Improve the aesthetic appeal of your teeth
- Tooth-coloured to match your natural teeth
When Do I Need To Get A Filling?
You might need to get a composite filling if you fit the following criteria:
- Your tooth is decayed
- To fix a chip on your front teeth
- To repair worn teeth caused by grinding or erosion
- To fix teeth affected by trauma
How Long Do Composite Fillings Last?
Composite fillings are incredibly strong and can last for at least 5 years, providing that you practice good oral hygiene and take good care of your teeth. In some cases, people can have them for as long as 10 years.
Are Composite Fillings Safe?
Composite resin causes no health concerns and composite fillings are safe for patients.
Other Tooth Filling Materials
There’s a range of other tooth filling materials including:
Dental amalgam is often referred to as a “silver-filling” and contains a mixture of mercury, silver, tin, copper and zinc to fill cavities in teeth.
Gold fillings are also known as inlays or onlays, and are composed of a mix of gold, copper and other metals.
Ceramic fillings are made from porcelain and are popular as they are less likely to stain over time compared to composite fillings.
Glass ionomer fillings are made of glass and acrylic and can be placed directly in the tooth.
Do You Need Composite Dental Fillings?
If you think that you need composite dental fillings, it’s important that you speak to your dentist. Your dentist will carry out a thorough examination of your teeth to determine whether or not this is the best option for you.