A dental filling (also called a dental restoration) may last many years before it needs to be replaced. However, there are a number of reasons that fillings may need to be replaced. Constant stress from chewing, grinding and clenching teeth may eventually cause a filling to chip, crack, wear down, or fall out.
We use ‘composite’ if a tooth has decay or has a filling that needs to be replaced. Composite fillings are a mixture of glass or quartz filler in a resin medium that produces a tooth-colored filling. Composite fillings provide good durability and resistance to fracture in small-to-midsize restorations that need to withstand moderate chewing pressure.
Less tooth structure is removed when the dentist prepares the tooth, and this may result in a smaller filling that that of an amalgam (silver filling). Composites also are “bonded” or adhesively held in a cavity, often allowing the dentist to make a more conservative repair to the tooth.
Before- amalgam fillings-notice the top tooth filling has a crack and the dark line around the fillings indicate breakdown, which is allowing bacteria and acids to get underneath the amalgam, which leads to recurrent decay.
Unfortunately accidents do happen. This child hit his front tooth and broke it. By placing a composite, we were able to build the tooth back up to look like a natural tooth!
This young boy hit his front teeth. We replaced the broken part of both teeth with composites.