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Composite Dental Fillings: What are they and when are they used?

When you have a cavity it will be important to have your tooth restored as soon as possible in order to avoid other more serious complications. But what are the different options for your dental filling? Here, our Canmore dentists share some information about composite dental fillings and when they might be used. 

Dental Fillings: What are composite fillings?

When you have a cavity, your dentist will need to repair it as soon as possible using a dental filling.

Traditionally, fillings were a silver-coloured material, known as amalgam, that was quite visible in contrast to the shade of a natural tooth. Luckily, as time went on dentists were able to develop other filling options such as composite.

Composite fillings are a tooth-coloured mix of plastic and ceramic, making them ideal for tooth surfaces that are commonly seen by others.

When might your dentist recommend composite fillings?

Composite fillings have become very popular due to their ability to blend in with the surrounding teeth.

Tooth areas that sustain heavy use, such as the chewing surfaces of molars, are typically not good candidates for a composite filling.

Some dental plans won't cover the cost of composite fillings in these areas due to their reduced strength in comparison to amalgam. Your dentist will be able to give you a better idea of which kind will work best for you.

Why choose composite fillings instead of other types?

  • Composite fillings blend with your natural teeth, making them virtually invisible. 
  • The material is slightly flexible resulting in reduced drilling, and preserving more of your natural tooth.
  • The resin material in composite fillings creates a strong bond with your tooth.
  • They are durable and can withstand moderate pressure and usage.
  • They are well-suited to small fillings and repairs.
  • Composite can also be used to handle other cosmetic alterations, such as changing the colour or shape of your teeth.

How long can I expect a composite dental filling to last?

While composite fillings are generally considered to be durable they won't last as long as some of the other options. They tend to last about 7 years. You might get 10 years out of a composite filling if the fillings are well taken care of through proper oral hygiene habits.

Are composite fillings safe to use?

The resin used in composite fillings is safe for use in dental applications. Both composite filling and sealants are made of resin material, containing BPA which releases for some time in the mouth after filling replacement.

However, the dental community pointed out some significant facts. According to them, studies have failed to underline any conclusive results regarding the use of BPA in resins as a harmful component. In addition to that, they believe that composite resins use a negligible amount of Bis-GMA, which is not detrimental to the patients. They concluded health concerns regarding composite resins are baseless that and do not have substantial evidence to prove BPA is a threat to human health.

If you have a cracked tooth or cavity and need a dental filling, contact our Canmore dentists today to request a consultation.

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