Composite resin is a tooth-colored, malleable material that is a popular choice for filling in dental cavities. There are pros and cons to any filling material and many of those depend upon the tooth that needs the filling. Molar teeth, for example, have wider tops and take on more chewing bite force than many other teeth. And those factors play into whether or not composite fillings are a good choice for the first and second molar teeth.
Always discuss your particular dental situation with the dentist and ask what filling materials are right for your specific situation. This advice is meant simply as a general guide to the pros and cons of composite fillings for molar teeth.
Pro: Tooth-Colored and Natural-Looking Even in Large Quantities
Small fillings on a molar tooth could be filled with virtually any filling material without the filling being noticeable. That's because the molars are so far back in the mouth it is unlikely anyone else is going to see your molars long enough to notice a small filling. But larger fillings might be a different story, especially if you frequently open your mouth wide when speaking or laughing.
Composite resin fillings look tooth-like due to the color, which can be tinted to match your natural teeth, and its natural opacity. Teeth are also naturally a bit opaque, which is why solid white appliances on teeth are more obviously artificial. If aesthetics are your main concern with a filling, you might want to discuss a composite resin filling with your dentist.
Con: Weaker than a Metal Filling
Composite resin isn't as strong of a material as a silver amalgam or gold filling. The difference doesn't always make a difference, but could make an important difference when pertaining to a molar tooth.
As mentioned, molar teeth take on a lot of grinding bite force while chewing and thus need to be fairly strong to undertake that repetitive motion and pressure without damage. Composite resin can crack under this type of pressure.
The likelihood of the resin cracking depends on a variety of factors. But a filling will be under more pressure if both of your molar teeth are damaged or if one is missing entirely, which puts the remaining molar under the bite force normally spread across two teeth.
If both molars need fillings, or one of your molars is missing or severely damaged, you might want to go with a metal filling instead of composite resin.
To learn more, contact a dental office such as Crystal Dental Care.