What do most people choose when deciding on fillings?
Composite fillings are the go-to choice for many patients because of their natural appearance. Amalgam fillings, while durable, are more noticeable when smiling. In addition, while a composite filling has the advantage of being tooth-colored, many patients are concerned about their strength and longevity.
How is a Composite Filling Made?
Composite resin fillings are made of either hard quartz or glass and resin. Together, these dental filling materials create a durable and natural-looking product that can be used for teeth fillings.
A composite filling is:
- Mercury Free
In most cases, a composite resin filling can be placed in one sitting, typically within an hour. For a patient, the process is very similar to getting any other type of filling.
- First, our dentist prepares your tooth by removing the decay.
- We’ll make the composite resin material in our dental office. We can even adjust the color to get it as close to your natural tooth color as possible.
- Once it’s ready, the filling will be bonded to the area in your tooth where the decay was removed.
- Finally, our dentist will use a special light to set, or cure, the material.
You’ll be in and out of your dental appointment before you know it! And your fillings will last for years with the right care and proper oral hygiene.
What are the Advantages of a Composite Filling?
Composite resin is a durable material that has become the standard for dentistry fillings. When properly taken care of, these fillings can last many years.
Along with their longevity, dental composite fillings offer many other advantages for a patient:
- They are tooth colored, so they look natural. When silver amalgam fillings are used, they can be very noticeable when you smile, which can affect your confidence.
- They are healthy compared to amalgam and free from potentially toxic materials. While strong, amalgam fillings contain mercury, which is concerning for many patients due to its toxicity.
- They can be used in various states of tooth decay.
- They are easier to place. Composite fillings bond well with your tooth enamel, which means we can drill a smaller hole for your filling. Being able to preserve more of your tooth enamel can help keep your teeth stronger and healthier.
- They don’t expand or contract in teeth like their amalgam counterparts. When composite resin is used, it is less likely to break or crack because of excessive heat or cold. Heavy amalgam expands and contracts, which may mean that our dentist has to drill a larger hole in your tooth for the filling.
How Long Does a Filling Last?
In general, a filling can last many years -sometimes a decade or more - with the right care. How long the filling lasts will depend on the material and your dental hygiene routine.
A composite filling can withstand even strong chewing forces, so they are more than up to the task to serve as your dental filling. In addition, research shows that they can last a decade or more in teeth if a patient has good oral health and the filling is small.
Is Composite Better Than Amalgam for Teeth Filling?
Is composite material more durable than amalgam? Are composite fillings the better choice for teeth? Both types of dental materials have their advantages for fillings and teeth. However, many patients prefer the natural tooth color of composite. While highly durable, there are health concerns with amalgam fillings, and they often stand out because of their dark metal appearance.
At Lighthouse Dental, we use Tetric EvoCeram for our composite resin fillings. Tetric EvoCeram has excellent flexural strength and can last many years, which is important for dental restoration services such as a filling.
Flexural strength measures tension, compression and shear stresses on teeth. With this material, we can place a restoration of up to 4 mm in thickness.
Book Your Dental Appointment for Fillings Today!
Ready to book your appointment for dental filling services? Call our dentistry practice today to book an appointment with our dentist. We will help you determine whether a composite filling is a good fit for your teeth.
If you’re taking proper care of your teeth and health, your new filling will last for years.