Overall, composite fillings are a better option than metal amalgam. Not only are they free from toxic mercury, but they’re much more attractive, and they can be placed in smaller cavities, which allows for less invasive dentistry.
But the only place they’re not as good as metal amalgam fillings, generally, is durability. And this is confirmed by a recent study published in the Australian Dental Journal.
Why Composite Fillings Fail
This study was actually a review and meta-analysis of studies published on the failure rates of composite tooth-colored fillings. According to an analysis of studies published from 2006 to 2016, composite fillings have a failure rate of about 13%. Pooling all the studies led to a consideration of a total of about 4300 restorations, which included nearly 570 failures.
The studies showed that most composite fillings failed for three common causes:
- Restoration fractured (39%)
- Cavities around the restoration (secondary decay) (26%)
- Fracture of tooth containing restoration (24%)
As you can see, these causes accounted for about 90% of restoration failures. Remarkably, only 1% of failures were attributed to residual soreness of the filling.
A Better Approach to Tooth-Colored Fillings
Still, many people are unhappy that composite fillings have a relatively high failure rate. They may wonder whether they have to go back to metal amalgam fillings to get long-lasting results.
Not at all. We offer a much more attractive option that also has a lower failure rate than metal amalgam fillings: ceramic fillings, sometimes described as porcelain inlays or onlays. These are actually made of high-durability advanced ceramics. In one 15-year study they had a failure rate of just 1.1%, lower than any kind of filling: even less than gold!
The advanced ceramic material allows these fillings to resist fractures that would affect either the restoration or the tooth.
And thanks to our CEREC system, these fillings can be completed in just one visit. They’ll be custom-crafted while you wait so that they precisely fit your teeth. There’s no hassle of a second visit to get these highly durable fillings.
Plus, you’ll love the fact that these fillings are so amazingly matched to your natural teeth that even you may be unable to see where they are.