Composite resin dental fillings were created as an alternative to traditional metal dental fillings. Tooth fillings colored to look like a natural tooth are known as Composite Resin Dental Fillings and are made of a plastic dental resin and are cured or hardened with a light. They are strong, durable, and make for a very natural looking smile.
Advantages of composites:
- Aesthetics – the shade/color of the composite fillings can be closely matched to the color of existing teeth; is particularly well suited for use in front teeth or visible parts of teeth
- Bonding to tooth structure – composite fillings actually chemically bond to tooth structure, providing further support to the tooth
- Versatility in uses – in addition to use as a filling material for decay, composite fillings can also be used to repair chipped, broken, or worn teeth
- Tooth-sparing preparation – sometimes less tooth structure needs to be removed compared with amalgams when removing decay and preparing for the filling
Caring For Teeth That Have Fillings
To maintain your fillings, you should follow good oral hygiene practices which are: visiting your hygienist regularly for cleanings, brushing with a fluoride toothpaste, and flossing at least once daily. If we suspect that a filling might be cracked or is “leaking” (when the sides of the filling don’t fit tightly against the tooth, this allows debris and saliva to seep down between the filling and the tooth, which can lead to decay), X-rays will be taken to assess the situation.
If your tooth is extremely sensitive, if you feel a sharp edge, if you notice a crack in the filling, or if a piece of the filling is missing, call our office for an appointment.
Constant pressure from chewing, grinding, or clenching can cause dental fillings to wear away, chip, or crack. Although you may not be able to tell that your filling is wearing down, your dentist can identify weaknesses in your restorations during a regular check-up.
If the seal between the tooth enamel and the filling breaks down, food particles and decay-causing bacteria can work their way under the filling. You then run the risk of developing additional decay in that tooth. Decay that is left untreated can progress to infect the dental pulp and may cause an abscessed tooth.
If the filling is large or the recurrent decay is extensive, there may not be enough tooth structure remaining to support a replacement filling. In these cases, we may need to replace the filling with a crown.