Poorly placed composite fillings create many problems for the tooth, and many symptoms for the patient. A poorly placed composite is often rough and pitted, has gaps at its edges which allow saliva and bacteria to leak underneath, and sometimes the poorly placed composite will not touch firmly against the adjacent tooth. This latter fault leads to food packing between the teeth when the patient eats.
Sometimes all a tooth requires is a 'quick patch-up' as further definitive treatment will be provided later. However, when it is time to restore a tooth for the long term, it has to be done correctly. It takes time to restore a tooth properly, and it is difficult to provide high quality treatment outcomes in a low cost, fast paced appointment environment.
The first photograph is an example of what a poor composite restoration might look like. It pretty much shows all the faults.
In the second photograph, the defective composite has been removed and replaced with a well bonded composite restoration. The new restoration does just what its name says - it "restores" the tooth in form, function, and returns bio-mechanical strength by gluing the tooth back together. It even looks aesthetically natural.
With leaking margins, a rough and pitted surface, and no contact with the premolar behind, this patient was suffering sensitivity to cold and food accumulation everytime she ate.
The new composite restoration is ideal in form, seal, surface polish and colour. It is almost impossible to detect it is even there.