No matter how diligently you practice proper oral hygiene, there’s always a chance you could end up with damage to teeth. In some cases, harmful bacteria get the better of you, resulting in cavities or even worse forms of tooth decay.
On the other hand, you might suffer an accident or injury that causes trauma to your tooth. You could bite down on an ice cube or a piece of hard candy and chip or crack a molar. Or you might suffer from bruxism, causing damage through unconscious clenching and grinding of teeth.
Regardless of the cause of damage, you might find yourself in need of a filling. Years ago, this would likely have meant putting metal in your mouth. While you can still get gold and silver fillings, many dentists are now concerned about silver amalgam fillings, once the most popular choice, mainly because of the mercury included in this option.
In truth, most people would rather have filling material that doesn’t stand out, and this means using delicate and pricy porcelain, or else opting for composite resin that is created to match the color of your tooth and molded to fit precisely to your bite pattern. What are the advantages of choosing composite resin for fillings?
Using resin composites to fill teeth after cavities or other damage is relatively quick and easy. The material is mixed in the office, and once applied, the material bonds to the structure of your tooth, ensuring long-lasting function. The resin can be molded to mimic the surface of the tooth so you don’t have to worry about your bite pattern being off. Then the material is cured with a high-intensity light to ensure hardness.
When compared to amalgam fillings, composites may not last quite as long. While composite resin can last up to about ten years with proper care, amalgam may last 10-15 years. That said, amalgam fillings could require the removal of some healthy tooth structure before installation, while composite resin will only call for the removal of damaged or decayed tooth structure.
Amalgam fillings could come in at a lower price tag than composite resin, but the advantages of composites in terms of safety and aesthetics make it well worth considering, and it’s still less costly than other filling materials.
There’s no denying the cosmetic appeal of composite resin when it comes to fillings. Both amalgam and gold fillings will stand out like a sore thumb in your pearly whites, letting everyone know you have fillings. With tooth colored composite resin fillings, no one will be the wiser.