When you have a chipped or broken tooth or a cavity, your dentist may recommend that you get dental fillings to prevent further damage or infection. In the case of treating cavities, the infected area has to be removed before applying the filling material to restore it to its original shape, size, and function.
There are different types of dental fillings to choose from, based on your goals, personal preferences, lifestyle, and even cost. Here are some things to note about the popular composite dental fillings:
- Made from strong, durable resins: Composite dental fillings comprise plastic resin and powdered glass, and are also referred to as plastic, white, or tooth-coloured fillings. Composite resin is strong, durable, and resistant to corrosion and breaking.
- Resistant to decay and grinding forces: Composite does not corrode; it has moderate resistance to decay, and holds up well to biting forces.
- Versatile treatments: The fact that composite is a strong material makes it ideal for different tooth restoration procedures, including fillings, crowns, veneers, inlays, and the repair of portions of broken teeth, reducing the risk of future damage, including damage from extreme changes in temperature.
- Natural-looking: Tooth-coloured fillings are so-called because their colour and texture is similar to that of natural teeth. The dentist can easily alter the resin shading to match the colour of your teeth, which makes composite fillings less noticeable and more alluring than other kinds of fillings. This means that you can maintain your natural-looking smile.
- Conservative approach: The application of composite fillings allows for maximum preservation of the damaged or infected tooth. This also means that minimal tooth preparation is required, allowing for single-visit filling and sealing.
- Immediate bonding: During the filling process, the dentist simply puts a layer of the material on the damaged site and then uses a special light to harden it. Bonding occurs immediately, so you can resume your normal life quickly.
Are you a suitable candidate for composite dental fillings?
Tooth-coloured resins do not contain filling materials that cause side effects or allergic reactions, such as mercury, chromium, nickel, and/or beryllium alloys. In fact, there are no documented cases of sensitivities or allergic reactions to composite resin, which makes it the ideal filling material for all kinds of people.
That said, it is best to visit your dentist for an initial consultation so you can be informed about all the materials available for dental fillings, their benefits and side effects, before making your decision.