Do you have old worn out silver fillings? Are you bothered by the grey shadow cast on your teeth by those old fillings? Do you have worn out yellow fillings in between your front teeth? Tooth-colored composite fillings might just what you are looking for.
Composite fillings are a mixture of glass or quartz filler in a resin medium which produces a tooth-colored filling. They are sometimes referred to as composites or filled resins. Today we have aesthetic and long-lasting bonded white composite fillings for both your front and back teeth.
Composites for the front teeth are very smooth and life-like. They can cover defects such as chips and cracks. They can also fill in cavities caused by decay. With composite materials, we can replace a small defect in the tooth, or we can cover an entire damaged tooth, creating a composite veneer.
A well-placed composite filling is undetectable. The cost of a bonded composite filling is moderate compared to other options, such as porcelain veneers and crowns. But the dentist has to have the experience and judgment to determine if composite would be appropriate for your situation, and the patient has to have good oral hygiene habits and avoid smoking and foods that could stain the restoration. Composite fillings can stain and discolor over time and may have to be replaced, but they are a wonderful service that I perform frequently for my Long Island dental patients.
Young boy with fractured front tooth repaired with bonded composite filling
Composites for the back teeth need to be strong to withstand the enormous pressure caused by biting. In the past several years the physical and mechanical properties of composite resins have improved dramatically so now they are often used in place of the standard amalgam, or silver, filling.
The advantages of the composite filling are its aesthetics and its adhesive capacity. Bonding of the composite fillings provides resistance to fracture in small restorations. Because the composite is adhesively held in a cavity, the repair can be more conservative than with the traditional amalgam. This means that we need to remove less tooth structure than we do for an amalgam restoration, and this may result in a smaller filling. But it takes longer to place a composite filling than an amalgam filling, and the dentist has to pay strict attention to detail. The cavity has to be kept clean and dry during the procedure, and the composite filling may have to be replaced over time.
Worn out silver filling replaced with bonded composite filling.
Patients’ demand for tooth-colored restorations has increased. Thanks to advances in modern dental materials and techniques, we have more options for creating a natural-looking smile. Come visit us at our Suffolk County Long Island Dental office and see how we can give you a great smile with tooth-colored composite resin!
We always welcome new patients and are happy to offer a free consultation.