Most people have fillings of one sort or another but today, because we are much more conscious of our smile, we can choose a natural looking alternative-the composite or tooth-coloured filling.
A composite resin is a tooth-coloured plastic mixture filled with glass (silicon dioxide) first introduced in the 1960’s. Originally only used for front teeth because of their lack of durability, huge improvements in their composition make them suitable for all teeth.
Composite fillings are more difficult to place than silver fillings and so take longer to complete -they are not tolerant of poor technique! However, the main advantages of composite fillings are their aesthetic appeal and that they are mercury free. Composite fillings were for a long time considered to less long lasting than silver amalgam fillings but enormous advances in both the filling materials and how they bond to the tooth surfaces now means this is no longer the case.
The life expectancy of a composite filling, like all fillings will depend the size and depth of the cavity and the degree of stresses placed on it when eating, clenching and grinding.