Although the best dental filling is no dental filling, most people require at least one filling at some point in their lives. Usually by the time they reach young adulthood. The best thing, of course, is to have no or very few fillings. Once your tooth is filled, especially if it is a large cavity, if something else were to happen to it–for instance a break or fracture–it can take more time, money, and discomfort to save the tooth. However, if you do need a dental filling, composite fillings have become the popular choice.
What is a Composite Filling?
A composite filling is a plastic resin and glass mixture that is the same color as natural teeth. Rather than have a gold or silver filling show when you open your mouth to talk or eat, the composite blends with your teeth and is generally unnoticeable. Composite fillings are good for small to mid-sized cavities, and are commonly the filling of choice for front teeth. However, if you are a chronic bruxer (you have the habit of grinding and clenching your back teeth together) you may consider gold fillings, as they are the strongest filling available. With that said, composite resins are strong, durable, and long-lasting.
Composite resin is a versatile material that is not only used for fillings. It is the same material that dentists use for composite bonding. Dental bonding can be used for the following reasons:
- To whiten teeth that don’t respond to bleaching
- To mask craze lines or fractures
- To fix broken teeth
- To fill gaps between teeth
- To lengthen worn-down teeth