Plastic filling in teeth: advantages and disadvantages

Plastic filling

Valeria Dahm is a freelance writer in the NetDoktor medical department. She studied medicine at the Technical University of Munich. It is particularly important to her that she gives the curious reader an insight into the exciting subject area of ​​medicine and at the same time maintains its content.

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical professionals.

The Plastic filling (Composite filling, composite tooth filling) belongs to the plastic tooth fillings. In contrast to rigid tooth fillings (inlays, onlays), it is inserted into the tooth defect in a still deformable state and adapted to it. Read more here about what a plastic filling is, how it is used and what advantages and disadvantages it has.

What is a plastic filling?

The composites popularly known as plastic fillings (composite filling) are a tooth-colored filling material for the treatment of tooth defects, such as those caused by caries. They consist of approximately 80 percent salt of silica or the finest glass particles and approximately 20 percent of plastic.

When do you do a plastic filling?

In the case of many defects on the front teeth, but also on the posterior teeth, plastic is used to fill the teeth. The hole is closed with the composite filling. The inside of the tooth and the sensitive tooth nerve are then no longer exposed unprotected.

How is a plastic filling used??

In most cases, the affected tooth is first given a kind of rubber bandage (called a rubber dam) to protect it from blood and saliva. This drainage is necessary for the later liability of the plastic filling. Chemical roughening and a binding agent (dentine adhesive) additionally improve the hold between tooth and composite. Now the dentist places the deformable composites in the hole in the tooth and hardens them using cold light. If it is a major defect, the plastic filling is built up in several sub-layers. Finally, the dentist removes the rubber dam and polishes the tooth so that chewing, speaking and swallowing work properly.

What are the advantages of plastic filling??

With a plastic filling, there is an optically coherent result, since the composites can be adapted to the natural tooth shade. This is particularly advantageous for the front incisors.

The plastic filling not only withstands large chewing loads, but also stabilizes the tooth structure by bonding with the binder. Allergic reactions to composites are hardly known.

What are the disadvantages of plastic filling??

When curing, the composite filling contracts slightly, so that a minimal gap is formed in which caries can develop.

The production and insertion of a composite filling are more complex and expensive than with an amalgam filling. In the posterior region, the health insurance companies therefore only cover the costs proportionately (in the amount of an amalgam filling). The cost of a tooth-colored Plastic filling (in single-layer technique) in the visible anterior region, however, are taken over entirely.

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