Composite/tooth coloured restorations are an alternative to amalgam/silver restorations which are the most widely used material today. They are made of a mixture of plastic and small glass particles which are strong yet highly aesthetic. They are suitable for repairing decay, cracks, fractures on both the front and the back teeth
Disadvantages of Silver fillings:
Silver fillings have many drawbacks. The edges of the silver filling can wear down, become weak or break in a long term. This results in the tooth not being protected and lets cavities get started once again. With age, the metal of a silver filling expands, contracts, and can split.
Silver fillings contain small amount of mercury. They can corrode, leak and may cause stains on your teeth and gums.
Advantages of Composite Restorations
There are many advantages to composite restorations. Teeth restored with composite material are not only highly aesthetic, but also stronger as it bonds to the surrounding tooth. It is also more minimal invasive as it can be fitted into very small holes, so less healthy tooth structures are preserved in preparation for the restorations. It also acts as an insulation to the tooth form major temperature changes.
Certain composite used contain fluoride which can help prevent decay. They also wear like natural teeth.
As with most dental restorations, composite restorations are not permanent and may someday have to be replaced especially used in larger cavities where it can wear out sooner than amalgam restorations.
Placement of this restoration takes slightly longer and the technique needed is more complex than amalgam fillings. However, it can be placed in one appointment. Once the cavity is prepared, the tooth surface is etched with a gel and a bonding liquid is painted onto the surface. The liquid sets firmly when a special blue light is shone on it. The composite putty is then precisely placed, shaped, hardened with the blue light and finished with trimming and polishing it back to its original shape and function.
Slight sensitivity to hot and cold after placement of the composite restoration is common. This will subside once the tooth becomes acclimated to the new restoration.
Regular professional maintenance and good oral hygiene will ensure the success of the restoration for a long period of time.
The result is a beautiful smile!
Other than composite restorations, porcelain inlays and onlays create fillings that are not only beautiful (or unnoticeable) but also add strength to weakened teeth. These restorations are esthetically pleasing and very strong thanks to new bonding technologies.