COMPOSITE FILLINGS

WHAT IS A COMPOSITE FILLING?

Dental composites, also called a “resin”, is a tooth colored material that’s used to fill cavities and repair fractured front teeth with composite fillings. Esthetically they look very natural and can be polished to appear very much like the natural tooth. Composites have replaced “silver” fillings which used to be the only option to fill cavities.

WHEN DO WE USE COMPOSITE FILLING?

On baby teeth, our pediatric dentists use composites for cavities that are relatively small or only located on one or two surfaces of the teeth. For baby teeth, with large cavities or multiple locations, the restoration of choice is a stainless steel crown. For adult teeth, unless there is considerable tooth structure loss requiring a dental crown, composites are the restoration of choice.

The main benefit of composite fillings is their natural color. If you have a cavity or another form of tooth decay, but don’t want to see your fillings, then a composite filling may be right for you.

Other reasons for considering a composite filling include:

  • A chipped tooth
  • Wear and tear
  • Cracked teeth
  • A broken tooth

Of course, every person’s mouth is different. Especially, if you have a broken tooth, you may need another type of dental treatment. Your dentist will be able to recommend the best treatment for your teeth when you come in for an examination.

DO COMPOSITES LAST LONG?

Composite fillings, when done on baby teeth, do not last as long as they last on permanent teeth. When placed on adult teeth with extensive tooth decay, they only last about 5 to 7 years before they need repair. Because of this, when large cavities exist or they appear on multiple locations, a stainless steel crown is often the treatment of choice.