A composite filling is a tooth-colored plastic used to restore decayed teeth. Composites are also used for cosmetic improvements of the smile by changing the color of the teeth or reshaping disfigured teeth.
The main advantages of composites are mostly aesthetics, since dentist can blend shades to create a color nearly identical to that of the actual tooth composites bond to the tooth to support the remaining tooth structure, which helps to prevent breakage and insulate the tooth from excessive temperature changes.
There are also some disadvantages of composites, after receiving a composite; a patient may experience postoperative sensitivity. Also, the shade of the composite can change slightly if the patient drinks tea, coffee or other staining foods. Composites tend to wear out sooner than silver fillings in larger cavities, although they hold up as well in small cavities.
Deciding which type of filling to use is best made by the patient and dentist, taking into account the size location of the cavity, patient history, cosmetic concerns and cost. Ask your dentist to discuss all of the choices available for dental fillings and help you decide which alternative is right for you.