One of the most common dental procedures is the filling. A filling is used to repair minor tooth problems, such as cracks and small cavities. Most fillings are made of metal but now there is a better alternative called a composite. These fillings are superior because they don’t have the toxicity of metal and they blend in better with the rest of the teeth. They also can prevent further decay of the involved tooth.
Composite fillings are made up of a resin that contains tiny pieces of quartz. This can be sized and shaped to imitate the surface of a tooth. The result is very natural looking and many people are electing to replace old metal fillings with composites.
The first step to a composite filling is removing the current filling and any other decay or weakness that may be present. The composite is then molded into shape, adjusted for bite and sealed into place with a bonding material. The procedure takes longer than a standard filling but generally has longer lasting results, as a composite can restore a tooth to near its original integrity.
Composite fillings are very durable and will last for years. They provide comfort while eating and will blend with the other teeth to make a nice, bright smile. Many patients feel more confident after receiving composite fillings and have far fewer problems in the long term than with old style metal fillings, which have a tendency to leak or fall out especially if the tooth is further damaged or just weakens with age.
Any cosmetic dentist can install a composite filling, however, it is in the patient’s best interest to research and choose a dentist that is very experienced and only uses the very best materials. Everyone deserves a healthy, beautiful white smile and composite fillings are a good step toward this goal.