Composites, or plastic fillings, are widely used as aesthetic restorations - that is, they mimic natural tooth color and consistency to make fillings as "invisible" as possible.
The word composite refers to the mixture of filler particles and a liquid resin. Commonly, the resin used in composites is a BIS-GMA (bis-gammamethylmetacrylate) but because unfilled resin is clear and soft, filler particles are added to alter the color and wear characteristics of composites. Common filler particles are silica, aluminum, zinc, tin, copper and iron. These fillers vary from composite to composite and modifies the strength, durability and color of the composite used.
Composites are best used as restorations for trauma or disease in front teeth, where aesthetics matter the most. They can be placed and polished to the point where they are almost indistinguishable from the surrounding tooth. As such composites are mostly used as restorations in front teeth and/or premolars, as it is in this area that aesthetics counts the most. However, composites can also be used as short term crowns for teeth; composite crowns are not very long lasting.
A tooth-colored filling is the way to treat a cavity without using noticeable silver material. Our dentist can apply a white filling that will blend in with the surrounding teeth. You could have a number of fillings of this type in your mouth and they would not show at all. Imagine how nice it will be to smile and laugh and not have to worry about anyone noticing silver fillings.
The majority of patients will have had a filling at some point in their lives. Nowadays cosmetic dental fillings are used to treat tooth decay and restore damaged teeth using a composite resin that can restore the tooth structure to 90% of its original strength and is not noticeable unlike traditional amalgam fillings. In the past the most popular type of filling was the silver amalgam that has be used for decades.
Today many dentists have changed their process and now use cosmetic dental fillings also known as tooth colored fillings or white fillings. Unlike traditional amalgam fillings cosmetic dental fillings can be made to match the natural color of the patients teeth avoiding the unsightly look of metal in a patients mouth. Composite resin fillings can be constructed to actually blend into the color of your natural teeth, therefore they should not be noticeable.
Tooth colored fillings can also be used to also change the size, color and shape of your teeth. Patients that have amalgam fillings and no longer want them can have them removed and they can be replaced with cosmetic fillings giving a more aesthetic appearance. These days most cosmetic fillings or tooth colored fillings are made from composite resin material, that is durable, strong and sets quickly once it has been placed.
They feel natural and resemble your natural tooth color. The cosmetic resembles your actual tooth structure chemically meaning that there's no need for grooves or pins to hold it in place. The material used in composite resin fillings has 85 to 95% of your tooth's original strength.
Composite resin fillings cure in under 10 seconds instead of days
First the dentist will remove the layers of tooth decay down to the enamel or below the dentin. The dentist will then numb the area where the tooth filling is going to be placed. He will remove any decayed layers and then apply a primer substance is then help open up the pores of your teeth which will create a stronger bond. Once this has hardened it will then be cured with a special light.
Once this process is complete, the dentist will then make the filling by applying it in thin layers. This will slowly form the complete tooth filling. Once composite resin has hardened, the dentist will filling will be smooth and polished the filling so that it fits and is comfortable when the patient bites down. If it needs to be readjusted the dentist will adjust it until it fits perfectly
Make an appointment to see the dentist and discuss your concerns over your amalgam fillings. We will explain how the amalgam fillings can be removed and replaced with white fillings.