Restorative Care is needed when a tooth must be rebuilt to the original size, shape, and structure with the use of a restorative material to repair the damage caused by fracture, decay or wear.
Composite is a filling material that is a combination of silicate (glass) particles and acrylic resin combined to create a tooth colored restoration. These are typically the most common type of filling material used today and the great advantage is that they can be bonded to the tooth on a microscopic level. This material has evolved more than most other dental products over the years. They can be placed in a tooth and hardened with a photo curing blue light or self-cure on their own in a tooth. They can be used to fix cavities, replace old fillings, repair chipped or broken tooth structure, repair a cracked tooth, be placed as a direct veneer to change the size, shape, and contour of the tooth, or even build up a tooth that has worn down. It is an amazingly strong versatile material. It is the material of choice for replacing Amalgam Mercury/Silver fillings that are leaking, cracked or failing when enough solid tooth structure remains.
Comparing White Fillings Versus Silver Amalgam Fillings:
- Composite restorations require less preparation for strength (More Conservative) Vs Amalgam Fillings require more tooth removal for strength (Less Conservative)
- Composite fillings adhere or bond to tooth structure Vs Filling a hole Amalgam
- Can be used to strengthen the tooth through bonding Vs Amalgam fillings which can weaken a tooth: If you think of a Mercury Thermometer, when the temperature rises the Mercury expands and goes up the Thermometer. As the temperature cools it shrinks and drops back down the Thermometer. As you eat and drink hot and cold foods and beverages this process occurs over and over again. After years of expansion and contraction and chewing and pounding on the teeth, the teeth containing the Amalgam Mercury fillings begin to crack and the fillings begin to leak. This can lead to teeth fracturing or even breaking. Composite material is strong enough to replace broken or lost tooth structure and fortify a tooth, saving tooth structure, and allowing it to be a cheaper alternative to a crown, thus saving money too!
- Composite Fillings are tooth colored and appear natural Vs Amalgam appear silver when placed and turn black as they oxidize.
- Composite- less thermal sensitivity Vs Amalgam – more thermal sensitivity.
Note the crack and fracture in the teeth with the Amalgam fillings to the left (above on mobile devices).