The composite material is a combination of tooth-colored plastic and glass materials that are applied in layers. Each layer is hardened with a specialized light before applying the next. When the layers are all applied, your dentist will then shape the surface so that the tooth will fit correctly before polishing it to prevent staining and wear. In addition to being used is fillings, the material is also used in other cosmetic procedures that improve the smile, such as reshaping teeth.
Though they are more expensive than amalgam (“silver”) fillings, metal-free composite fillings are ideal for any teeth that are highly visible, and is often used to fill cavities in the front teeth. Most dental insurance plans cover composite fillings, especially when needed on a visible tooth.
Traditional metal fillings are easily visible in the mouth, especially when the front most teeth are being restored. The biggest advantage of composite fillings are aesthetics. Not only is the material white instead of metal, the shades of the composite can be blended to match your natural teeth, usually making the presence of the composite virtually undetectable – even on a front tooth. With our expert color-matching system, we can match our restorations to the shades of your teeth exactly. They are fully hypoallergenic and does not contain mercury or any other toxins. Also, unlike traditional metal fillings, the metal-free composite material chemically bonds to the teeth structure, which provides additional support to the tooth.
Although composite fillings do work well, there are some disadvantages involved also. Some disadvantages of composite fillings are:
Amalgam filling is the most common material used to fill cavities. Over the years, concern has risen because it contains mercury. Amalgam is produced with an integration of several metals. These metals include copper, tin, silver, and mercury. It is a very durable material, especially for teeth that undergo an immense amount of pressure from chewing or teeth grinding.
Amalgam fillings can be removed, but it is recommended to only remove them when they are worn out or damaged. Removing good amalgam fillings can result in unnecessary loss of the healthy tooth structure and exposes you to additional mercury vapor during the removal process.
We can help you decide if a composite filling is best for you. When you come in for a consultation, we will examine the location of the cavity in the mouth, as well as the size of the cavity, and discuss your history and cosmetic concerns. We will present you with all of your options, and then discuss them with you to help you decide which kind of filling is best for you.Schedule an Appointment