When Do You Need Composite Dental Fillings?

by | Jun 24, 2022 | Resources

Composite Dental Filling

By the time they are ten years of age, 42% of all Australian children will have dental caries, or what are more commonly known as tooth cavities. It is important to restore and maintain all teeth, both deciduous teeth—which you may know better as baby teeth and permanent adult teeth to reduce the risk of pain, infection and future dental problems.

Dentists will typically treat decay  in permanent teeth with dental fillings, which use a substance to fill the hole in the tooth. Your dental health professionals may identify the need for a filling during a routine examination or check-up. In some cases, dental caries may cause tooth pain, causing  patients to  seek treatment.

In the past, dentists generally used a type of filling called amalgam, which is a mixture of various metals like copper, silver, tin, and mercury. Though mercury is toxic, amalgam fillings are generally safe as the mercury is bound to the other metals.. Amalgam fillings are still supported by the Australian Dental Association, though they recommend minimising their use.

When Do You Need Composite Dental Fillings for Your Tooth?

A composite dental filling may be required to treat decay or damage to a tooth. There are different types of dental fillings available, and your dental health professionals will be able to recommend the right one based on your specific needs. Composite dental fillings are excellent options and can commonly be used for most procedure requiring a tooth to be treated with a filling.

Reasons For Choosing Composite Filling

There are many reasons for choosing composite dental fillings, as they are a safe, durable, and effective option suitable for most patients. Though your dentist can explain the benefits in more detail, here are a few of the factors to consider.

Less Invasive Option

Composite dental fillings are permanently affixed to the surface of a tooth. Some dentists may even refer to a composite dental filling as bonding because of the way the composite dental filling is attached to the teeth. Because the composite resin is bonded directly to the surface of a tooth, it requires less of the tooth structure to be removed to make room for the filling. This means more natural tooth remains—and less drilling needs to be done.

Promotes Healthy Tooth Structure

Because a composite dental filling is affixed to the surface of a tooth, it can preserve more of the tooth’s natural structure. The composite dental filling will sit mainly on the tooth’s surface, where it seals the tooth and protects it from further damage or decay. When less material has to be removed to treat a tooth, the tooth can remain stronger and healthier naturally.

This Kind of Dental Filling Easily Blends In

Composite fillings are a white or tooth-coloured material that can be blended to match a person’s natural tooth colour. These kinds of fillings are suitable for use in either back or front teeth, and because a dental composite filling  can be matched to your tooth colour, they provide excellent cosmetic results.  They can provide an excellent choice for anyone concerned about how their teeth will look after treatment.

The Benefits of Composite Dental Filling

There are many benefits to choosing a composite dental filling, and your dental health professional will be able to discuss this further with you. Our own Dr Meredith Gay focuses on preventative, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry and can tell you more about these natural-looking, non-toxic fillings.


If decay or trauma requires a tooth to be treated with a filling, there are several options available. Your dentist will be able to recommend the best procedure for your specific needs, but generally speaking, a dental composite filling is an excellent choice for most situations. For more information or to schedule an examination, contact us today—we’d love to speak with you.