Patient having tooth filling

Everything you need to know about composite fillings

2022. April 10. Published by

Dental composite fillings are standard, modern fillings that are colored to resemble the color of your natural tooth. In this article, we would like to share some important information about dental composite fillings, the most popular type used in dentistry.

What are composite fillings?

When you develop a cavity, the dentist will remove the decay from your tooth and fill the area.

Dental fillings used to be a silver-colored material, known as amalgam. Due to their color, they were very visible.

Composite fillings are made of powdered glass quartz, silica or other ceramic particles added to a resin base. The composite is solidified by high-energy blue light that is still in the visible range.

The hardness of the resulting material is about the same as that of enamel.

When are composite fillings used?

The composite filling can be used effectively for small cavities in the tooth. If the cavity is more extensive, or a part of the tooth is broken, inlay, onlay, or overlay may be the solution.

Advantages and disadvantages of composite fillings

Benefits of composite fillings:

  • It is extremely aesthetic, so it can also be used for front teeth too
  • Composite fillings blend seamlessly with your natural teeth, making them invisible
  • They are durable
  • The resin material in composite fillings creates a strong bond to your tooth

Disadvantages of composite tooth fillings 

  • They usually cost more than amalgam fillings
  • These types of fillings may discolour over time
  • They tend to wear out sooner than metal fillings

Composite vs amalgam filling

What to expect during a composite filling procedure

Getting a cavity filled is a simple and straightforward process that your dentist can easily do. Now, we would like to walk you through the process and explain what to expect during a composite filling procedure.

  • As with all fillings, locla anesthesia is used, so the procedure is completely painless.
  • Any decay will be removed with a drill.
  • A proper adhesion of the filling material requires a so-called ortho-phosphoric acid surface treatment, after which the “bond” layer is applied to the surface, which guarantees the perfect adhesion of the composite filling material to the tooth surface.
  • The dentist will place a composite filling in your tooth in layers.
  • The dentist may use ultraviolet light to cure the filling in place – this will harden each layer quickly so that the next layer can be placed in the tooth. This process is known as photo-polymerization.
  • Now your dentist will remove any unnecessary composite material and polish the filling, so that the filling fits perfectly in your tooth. As a result, the chewing function and aesthetics are completely restored.

Important factors

The basic condition for proper bonding is that the filling is made in a completely dry environment. If you manage to create this completely dry environment and the best-quality material is used, your fillings will last and your teeth will be trouble-free for a long time.

A filling error may occur if a microscopic gap remains between the filling and the tooth. In this case, at the borders of the filling, bacteria can enter the deeper layers of the tooth and tooth decay can form. This is easily noticeable, as a brown discoloration appears at the edge of the filling.

As the average lifespan of composite fillings is 8-10 years, even with the use of the best technique and the best quality materials, existing fillings should be inspected regularly during dental check-ups. If the edges are no longer perfect, the filling should be replaced.

At Digital Dental Art, we only use high-quality materials, and our staff pays special attention to the proper preparation of the teeth and the professional preparation of the filling. If you need tooth filling, book an appointment at our clinic. We will be happy to help you.

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