Composite Fillings: Miami Has a Better Option
Let's face it. Those gray, metallic fillings may not be completely obvious when you smile, but when you open your mouth to speak, your conversation partners may be wondering whether that thing in your tooth is a filling or a piece of leftover food. The solution, of course, is to choose dental fillings that actually match the color of the teeth. That means getting composite fillings. Miami patients have an excellent option for tooth-colored composite fillings at CG Smile. We offer composites as part of the CG Smile Makeover.
In this brief web article, we will go over some of the things you can expect if you choose composite fillings, as well as compare composites to traditional amalgam fillings.
Composite vs. Amalgam Fillings: The Differences that Matter
While no patient ever gets excited about needing a filling, at least with modern technologies, they can at least choose from a host of options. The two most common types of dental fillings are composite resin and silver amalgam. Let's explore some of the key differences between the two:
- Esthetics. Esthetically speaking, tooth-colored composite fillings are a clear winner compared to the gun-metal gray of silver amalgam fillings.
- Longevity and durability. The only categories in which most dentists rank silver amalgam fillings above composites is in longevity and durability. You can expect silver amalgams to last anywhere from 10 to 15 years, while composites usually only last a year or two shy of 10 years. Also, tooth-colored fillings may not be the best option for larger fillings or fillings on biting surfaces as they tend to be less durable than silver amalgams.
- Convenience. In terms of sheer convenience for the patient, both types of fillings have their pluses and minuses. Having composites placed does take a little more time. But, choosing composite fillings means less tooth material needs to be drilled away in order to complete the filling.
- Health risks. The public has long been aware of the potential dangers of silver amalgam fillings. They do, after all, contain mercury, and mercury is off-gassed during the filling procedure. Public health agencies have long touted the safety of silver amalgams, but many patients would like to avoid the potential danger. Also, some patients may be allergic to some of the alloys found in silver amalgam fillings (tin, silver, copper, etc.) and this is one consideration when choosing between the two types of fillings.
- Cost. Since composite fillings are a newer innovation, you can expect to pay a premium for the privilege of having tooth-colored fillings. But, the costs has gone down over the years and is quickly approaching that of amalgams.
What are Composite Resin Fillings Made of?
Composite resin fillings are crafted using a compound of ceramic (powdered glass) and plastic resins.
Will My Insurance Cover Composite Fillings?
Some insurance plans cover composite fillings while others do not. Some insurers will not cover composite fillings on the biting surfaces of teeth. If you choose composite fillings, most dental plans will cover them up to the cost of amalgams and then the patient will be responsible for cover the price difference between composites and amalgams.
How Often Will I Need to Replace Composite Fillings?
On average, composite fillings will last five to seven years, therefore you will need to replace them somewhere in that range. Of course, if composite resin is used on your molars or other biting surface, it may need to be replaced more frequently.
Plan for a Great Smile
Comprehensive dental exams allow dentist to gather all the information necessary to develop a long-term treatment plan. Ensure a future of beautiful, healthy smiles — schedule a comprehensive dental exam, today!