Flagstaff Smiles

Why To Consider Composite Fillings

September 29, 2020
7 Min Read
Why To Consider Composite Fillings

Children, adults and dentists alike all agree on one thing. No one wants a cavity, because they need to be filled. Cavities are the inevitable consequence of rampant tooth decay. A filling will prevent bacteria and plaque from accumulating in those cavities to produce deeper tooth decay and more serious infections. A well-positioned and properly maintained filling not only prevents future infection, but reinforces a tooth that was weakened by decay and loss of tooth tissue.

Traditional fillings

Traditionally, dentists in Flagstaff have prepared fillings out of an amalgam of metals containing tin, copper, mercury, zinc, and silver. They’re often called amalgam or silver fillings. Amalgam fillings have been relied on for decades but have a significant downside: they’re not even a little bit subtle. A silver filling can appear garish, unnatural and conspicuous if it is in a highly visible location in your mouth. Today, you have an option that offers much more discretion without any loss of effectiveness — you can opt for composite fillings in Flagstaff.

What is different about composite fillings?

Composite fillings are made from resins that contain ceramic and plastic compounds. Those resins mimic the appearance of your natural teeth so our filling will blend naturally with healthy tooth enamel. For this reason, composite fillings are sometimes referred to as white or, more accurately, tooth-colored fillings. Composite fillings offer several important advantages compared to silver fillings.

Three advantages of composite fillings

First, when the materials that make up the composite filling bond to your remaining tooth material, the result is a stronger tooth than before you started.

Second, many people who experience tooth sensitivity as a result of metal fillings find that composite fillings result in less sensitivity.

Finally, composite fillings will let you keep your cavities and your fillings a secret. Composite tooth-colored fillings from a dentist in Flagstaff will be colored to match your natural teeth enamel perfectly.

Significant as those advantages are, there are a couple of disadvantages to discuss with your dentist in Flagstaff, too. The deepest and widest cavities may need more than one step to fill if you opt for composite materials. Because more than one step may be necessary, composite fillings can take longer than a traditional silver filling. Composite fillings are also more expensive than your amalgam option.

How long will white fillings last?

No filling — amalgam or composite — lasts forever. Fillings may eventually crack or fall out. Over time, a filled cavity may show further signs of tooth decay that need to be addressed with a new filling. How long will a composite filling last? A composite or white filling typically lasts for seven to 10 years, but you can stretch that lifespan by following attention to the following tips.

How to prolong the life of a white filling

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day for no less than two minutes every time
  • Floss your teeth and gums completely no less than once a day
  • Go to your dentist for a check up every six months and get your teeth professionally cleaned once a year
  • Avoid hard and sticky foods
  • Avoid biting your nails, and chewing on things like pencils, and ice
  • If you have clench your jaw and grind your teeth as you sleep, ask your dentist if you should wear a night guard
  • Wear a mouthguard while participating in sports

Do you have a cavity that needs filling or a filling that has gotten loose or fragile? Contact a dentist near you for a look at every filling and to make sure each tooth is protected. If subtlety and discretion is important to you, ask if you’re a good candidate for composite fillings.

Get in touch with Flagstaff Smiles

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.