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: Recurrent decay, constant stress from chewing, grinding and clenching teeth may eventually cause a filling to chip, crack, wear down, or fall out.
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.
Above picture: Left picture shows the before of an amalgam filling. Notice the filling has a crack and the dark line around the fillings indicate breakdown. This is allowing bacteria and acids to get underneath the amalgam filling which leads to recurrent decay. The Picture on the Right is what the composite filling looks like. It matches the shade of the surrounding tooth.
Above Pictures: Unfortunately accidents do happen. This child hit his front teeth and they broke. By placing a composite filling, we were able to build the teeth back up to look like a natural tooth! We replaced the broken part of each tooth with a composite restoration.
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