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How Composite Fillings are Different Other Than Color

Posted on 5/20/2017 by Robert Leale
A close up of a patient receiving a dental filling.
Fillings are a dental procedure used to fill the cavities on your teeth left behind by tooth decay. There are two popular options for fillings these days - amalgam and composite resin.

Composite resin, made up of fine glass in a resin material, has gained significant popularity over the years for its ability to match the color of your teeth. But that's not the only thing that makes it different.

Less Drilling Required
Another major advantage, aside from the color, of composite fillings is that they bond directly to the tooth, something dental amalgam cannot do. This helps to make the tooth stronger. And, because it bonds directly to the tooth, this means that less drilling is required. The cavity does not need to be shaped in a specific manner to accommodate the filling, a process which needs to be done for amalgam.

No Allergies
There is a lot of controversy surrounding amalgam fillings, and It's not just because they are silver. Amalgam fillings are made up of metals (tin, silver, copper, zinc) held together by mercury. While the amount of mercury is negligible, many dental patients do not want anything mercury in or near their bodies.

The other major issue that many people have with amalgam fillings is that they can be harmful for those who have allergies to metal. Composite resin fillings don't contain mercury, nor do they contain any metals. There is no need to worry about either of these issues.

Does Not Conduct Temperature
Because amalgam fillings are made up of metals, they can conduct heat and cold, which can make your teeth feel sensitive. Again, since composite resin fillings don't contain metal, they do not lead to this type of sensitivity.

Available as Indirect Fillings

Composite resin fillings can be done in one of two ways. They can be applied directly, placed into the cavity and dried with a blue light. They can also be done indirectly, which is a process in which an impression of the affected tooth is used to create a perfect fitting filling. An indirect filling is then cemented into place.

A major benefit of an indirect filling (inlays or onlays), is that they fit the space perfectly, and do not expand or contract, like an amalgam filling might. They also help to build up the structure of the tooth, helping to strengthen it, rather than pose a potential risk for shattering the tooth like a large amalgam filling might do.

While the color of composite resin fillings is a major benefit, they have so much else to offer. If you have a cavity, contact our office if a composite resin filling is right for you.

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Spokane, WA 99218-1319


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Robert Leale DDS, 1121 E. Westview Ct. Spokane, WA 99218 - (509) 590-1763 - - 5/25/2024 - Key Phrases: dentist Spokane WA -