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Composite Filling: Meaning, Types, Advantages, Disadvantages & Cost

composite filling

A composite filling (composite tooth filling) is a mixture that is made of acrylic resin and powdered glass. It is used to restitute decayed or lost teeth and also to reshape teeth that have been disfigured.

How Is A Composite Placed?

placing a composite filling

With preparation, the dentist places the composite, setting it in layers by using a bright blue light specialised to harden each layer. When the process has been completed, the dentist will then put the composite in shape to fit the tooth. The dentist will then polish the composite to prevent it from staining and wearing at an early stage.

Types of Composite Fillings

There are two types of composite fillings; direct and indirect fillings.

direct composite filling

In the case of a direct composite filling, it is placed by a dentist, using the bright blue light that makes the soft material turn hard.

indirect composite filling

For indirect composite fillings, the dentist prepares the tooth and makes an impression of it. The dentist will then make the filling from the mold. When you go for your second visit, your dentist will then cement this filling into place.


Advantages of Using Composite Fillings

There are some advantages that accrue to using composite fillings. One of them is that your inlay or fillings will match the colour of your teeth.

It is possible that a filling can be completed in one dental visit but you may need to visit the dentist more than one time in the case of an inlay.

Composite fillings can bond directly to the tooth. This will make the tooth stronger than it would be with another type of filling.

Indirect composite fillings and inlays are cured with heat. This process increases the strength of the filling.

Composite resin can be combined with other materials like glass ionomer to provide the benefits of the two materials.


Disadvantages of Using Composite Fillings

One of the disadvantages of using composite fillings is that they are quite expensive and costly.

Although composite fillings are stronger and more resistant to wear, it’s not clear whether they last as long as an amalgam filling, which is made of copper, zinc, tin, silver and mercury, under the pressure of chewing.

The composite may shrink when placed, which could produce gaps between the filling and the tooth. This can lead to more cavities in areas of your teeth where the filling is not making good contact with your tooth. The shrinkage can be reduced when your dentist places this type of filling in thin layers.

Composite fillings take more time to place. That’s because they are usually in layers. The increased time and labor that are involved also contribute to the expensive nature of these fillings.


How much does it cost to have a Composite Filling?


The prices of composite fillings vary, but composites can cost up to two times the price of an amalgam filling. Most dental insurance plans cover the expense of the composite up to the price of a silver filling, as the patient pays the difference. As the composites continue to improve, insurance companies are more likely to increase their coverage of composites.

Do you need a composite filling? Then book an appointment with us at Platinum Dental today!

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