A composite filling, or tooth-coloured filling, provide good durability and resistance to fracture in small to medium size fillings that need to withstand moderate pressure from the constant stress of chewing. They can be used on either front or back teeth. They are a good choice for people who prefer that their fillings look more natural.
Composites cost more than amalgam due the increased procedure duration and increased cost of the material. It generally takes longer to place a composite filling than it does for a metal filling because composite fillings require the tooth be kept clean and dry while the cavity is layered in increments and cured with a UV light. Composite fillings are layered in increments as there is small dimensional shrinkage on curing.
Tooth-coloured fillings are now used more often than amalgam or gold fillings, largely due to aesthetics. In a society focused on a white, bright smile, people tend to want fillings that blend with the natural colour of their teeth.
Dental fillings do not last forever. Some studies show that composite fillings can be less durable and need to be replaced more often than amalgam fillings. If a large tooth coloured filling lasts for only 1-2 years then your dentist may recommend a crown.
The cost of a composite filling depends on size of the filling and the dentist’s expertise. Most dentists price fillings depending on the number of tooth surfaces the filling covers. For example a filling on the biting surface of a tooth is a one surface filling. A filling that covers the whole tooth is a 5 surface filling. Dentist’s fees also vary if they add reinforcing materials (pins, fibre-reinforced) or spend time layering the filling with different colours and stains for aesthetic purposes.
To find a dentist near you who provides composite fillings please visit www.fillinggaps.co.nz.