A dental filling is a material that is used to fill cavities and repair cracks and minor fractures. Composite fillings look very similar to the enamel, which has made them the most widely used fillings in recent times. However, metal fillings such as silver amalgam and gold were prominent before composite filling became popular. Though metal fillings were effective in sealing the cavity and stopping the further decay of the tooth, they are rarely used nowadays. The reason behind this is that metal fillings left dark patches on the teeth. This would ruin the aesthetics of one’s smile. Also, metal fillings would have toxic reactions with the enamel, leading to further infections.
Why are composite fillings sought after?
- Their appearance matches that of the enamel, allowing them to go unnoticed.
- They have excellent sealing properties. Hence, they prevent the decayed tooth from getting reinfected.
- They are long-lasting. If properly maintained, they are said to last for several years.
- They are strong and durable, which results in lesser wear of the filling.
- They are resistant to staining.
- They prevent the failure of a tooth by sealing a crack and preventing further crack propagation.
- They can be used to restore the shape of chipped teeth.
- Large gaps between adjacent teeth can be eliminated using a filling.