WHAT IS A COMPOSITE FILLING?
A composite filling is a treatment for a cavity. This type of filling uses a composite resin material to restore your oral health. Composite resin is a material made up of a mixture of different substances, including fine glass and plastic. This type of filling provides an alternative to traditional amalgam fillings. It is a tooth colored material that blends in with the color of your natural teeth, making it perfect for treating cavities affecting teeth near the front of your mouth.
The material does not contain any metal or mercury. Composite resin also bonds with your natural tooth structure, rather than simply filling in the cavity. Because of this, less of your natural tooth structure needs to be drilled away to place the filling.
How Long Does a Composite Filling Last?
While composite fillings are not as strong as amalgam ones, they are still quite strong and can last for many years. Many composite fillings last at least 5 years. There are many instances in which they can last up to 10 years or more.
What Factors Affect the Longevity of a Composite Filling?
There are many different factors that can impact the longevity of a composite filling. Factors include:
- The size of the filling. Typically, smaller fillings tend to last longer because fewer issues are likely to occur.
- What you eat and drink. Sugary or acidic foods and beverages can increase your risk of enamel erosion. This can increase the risk of problems developing with your composite fillings.
- Your oral hygiene habits. Maintaining good oral hygiene practices is essential for your oral health and the longevity of your fillings. If you neglect your oral hygiene, new decay can form around your filling, compromising it. Additionally, poor oral hygiene also increases your risk for developing cavities in your other teeth.
- Composite fillings provide you with a much more aesthetic alternative to amalgam fillings. With proper care, they can last for many years.