Composite Tooth Colored Fillings
Tooth colored filling, or composites as they are also called, have been used as fillings for anterior teeth for decades beginning in the 1960s. Until fairly recently, silver fillings or amalgam was used to fill cavities in molars because of its stability and durability. Composite resins were not strong enough to endure the hundreds of pounds of force back teeth endure every day. Advancements in dental technology and materials in cosmetic dentistry have changed that.
Thanks to new developments, composite resin can be used as filling material for all teeth. The new composites are durable and sturdy enough to stand up under the pressures of chewing, and they last for years. Additionally, composite resin bonds with the natural tooth structure, making it a more desirable as a filling material.
Amalgam fillings require that a certain amount of healthy tooth structure be removed. The tooth needs to be prepped in such a way as to hold in the packed filling material. Often a dove-tailed or tongue-in-groove method is used to hold the filling in place. Silver fillings can become loose over time and create tiny spaces where bacteria can build up and cause decay. Composites do not create these problems.
What is a Composite Resin?
Composite resins are comprised of ceramic or glass and plastic. The bonding material used to place the fillings bonds with the tooth, making the filling material less likely to loosen over time. A special light is used to cure the resin and make it hard. Large fillings are put down in layers, and each layer is properly cured until the next layer is added. Very little healthy tooth structure is removed with composites because the material is bonded to the tooth.
Composites are tinted to match your natural tooth color. Once the filling is placed and hardened, the excess is removed, and the filling is polished off. The end result is a filling that looks and feels as smooth and natural as the original tooth.
For a completely natural looking smile, consider replacing your silver fillings with natural looking composites. Contact Smiles in Malibu today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Perkins.