Tooth filling material can be one of several choices: at ProActive Dental Studio, we recommend composite fillings.
What is a composite resin (white) filling?
A composite resin is a tooth-colored plastic mixture filled with glass (silicon dioxide).
Introduced in the 1960s, dental composites were confined to the front teeth because they were not strong enough to withstand the pressure and wear generated by the back teeth.
Since then, composites have been significantly improved and can be successfully used in dental inlays to be placed in the back teeth as well.
Composites are not only used to restore decayed areas, but are also used for cosmetic improvements of the smile by changing the color of the teeth or reshaping disfigured teeth.
How is a composite filling placed?
Following preparation, we place the composite in layers; using a light that specializes in hardening each layer. When the process is finished, we shape the composite to the tooth. Then we will polish the composite to prevent staining and early wear.
How long does it take to place a composite?
It takes us about 10-20 minutes longer to place a composite than a silver filling. Placement time depends on the size and location of the cavity - the larger the size, the longer it will take.
What is the cost for tooth filling with composite material?
Prices vary, but composites average about one-and-a-half times the price of a silver filling. Most dental insurance plans cover the cost of the composite up to the molar teeth. They pay up to the price of a silver filling on the molar teeth, with the patient paying the difference.
What are the benefits of composite fillings?
Esthetics are the main benefit, since dentists can blend shades to create a color nearly identical to that of the actual tooth.
Composites bond to the tooth to support the remaining tooth structure, which helps to prevent breakage and insulate the tooth from excessive temperature changes.
What are the disadvantages?
After receiving a composite, a patient may experience minor post-operative sensitivity. If this happens, the sensitivity usually dissipates within a few weeks.
How long will a composite tooth filling last?
Studies have shown that composites last 7-10 years.
ProActive Dental Studio's position regarding amalgam fillings:
- Composite filling material bonds directly to the tooth structure. Because of this, we have to remove far less tooth than we would have to if we were to do an amalgam filling. This reduces the risk of tooth fractures, and root canals as the patient ages.
- Amalgam filling material is not considered the optimum choice by most dentists.
- Amalgam fillings expand over time. This leads to a weakening of the tooth structure, and can cause fractures. Composite fillings, however, support the tooth structure and thereby strengthen the tooth.
- Composite fillings are not only cosmetically far superior, but, as mentioned above, their "wear rate" is the same as amalgam fillings.