Composite Resin Fillings
A composite filling is a tooth-colored plastic and glass mixture used to restore decayed teeth. Composites are also used for cosmetic improvements of the smile by changing the color of the teeth or reshaping disfigured teeth.
What are the advantages of composites?
Aesthetics are the main advantage of composites, since dentists can blend shades to create a color nearly identical to that of the actual tooth. Composites bond to the tooth to support the remaining tooth structure, which helps to prevent breakage and insulate the tooth from excessive temperature changes.
Why Replace a Filling?
Fillings don’t last forever. They can become discolored. Composite, tooth-colored fillings pick up stains, and yellow or darken over time. When you chew, your teeth and any fillings in them are subjected to tremendous pressures. Even if no other problems develop, some fillings will wear out over time and will need to be replaced. A filling will need to be replaced earlier if it falls out, leaks or cracks.
Bacteria and bits of food can seep down under a filling that is cracked or leaking. Since you can’t clean there, the bacteria feed on the bits of food and form the acid that causes tooth decay. Decay under a filling can become extensive before you notice it or it causes you pain. This is why you should have your fillings checked regularly and get them replaced when problems are found.
Fillings That Fall Out
Fillings can fall out for several reasons:
You bite down too hard on a tooth that has a large filling, and break the filling or the tooth.
The filling material that was used cannot withstand the forces placed upon it. For example, if you have broken a large piece of your front tooth, a porcelain (tooth-colored) crown is probably a good treatment choice. In some cases, a dentist may place a composite filling instead. This may look good or acceptable. However, if the composite is too large, a strong biting motion may break the plastic material.
Saliva gets into the cavity when the filling is placed. For composite resins, this will disrupt the bonding of the material. As a result, the bond will not stick well to the tooth and it may fall out.
Do I have to be careful with my fillings?
White fillings set completely immediately after they are placed, so as soon as the numbness from the anesthetic subsides, you can chew as you would normally. If your bite feels uneven, or if you have any questions or concerns about your new filling, be sure to give us a call.