Cavities in anterior teeth have been filled with composite fillings since the 1960s. Composite fillings are tinted to match your tooth color and for decades, have been used exclusively in front teeth. Early composites were not strong enough or durable enough to be used in posterior teeth. Silver fillings lasted much longer and could endure the pressures exerted on molars without breaking.
Breakthroughs in advanced technology and dental materials in cosmetic dentistry have changed drastically. Composite resins can now be used to repair posterior teeth as well as anterior teeth. The development of these new, stronger, more durable fillings provide an authentic and natural looking finish to any tooth that has a cavity.
Composite resin looks and feels like your natural tooth. The improvements made in these filling materials make it possible to fill some large cavities as well. Now all your teeth affected by cavities can have a more natural look free from silver fillings.
What is Composite Resin?
Composite resins are a combination of plastic polymers and glass or ceramic. The evolution of these materials has resulted in stronger, more durable filling materials. Molars endure hundreds of pounds of force when you chew. The new composites are able to stand up to these forces, and when well cared for, they last for years.
There are different types of composite filling materials. There are advantages with each type of composite, and all of them produce a finished look that is natural. Many composite resins require the use of a special blue light to harden the resin. The filling material is put down in layers, and each layer is cured or hardened before the next layer is added. A reaction in the material is activated when the light hits it, making it hard. This reaction produces a strong, durable filling that will last for years.
Silver amalgam fillings require that a certain amount of healthy tooth structure be ground away. The space where the amalgam will be packed in needs to be shaped so that the filling will not fall out. Composite fillings can be placed without unnecessary loss of healthy tooth structure. Decayed or damaged tooth material is removed, and the composite filling bonds to the healthy tooth structure.
When your cavities are filled with composite fillings, no one can tell you had problems with decay. If you are considering replacing your old silver fillings, contact Avalon Dental Group. With composite resins, your teeth will look and feel completely natural.