Most patients are familiar with the old “silver” fillings that tend to look black and corroded over the years. These were a great restoration for their times. But now more and more concern from patients in regardes to the cosmetics and the mercury content of silver fillings have led to the better development of tooth colored restorations.
The two primary tooth colored restorations are composite resin and porcelain. There have been significant developments in the Zirconia material as well, but it is more often used for dental crowns at present, where the bite is very tight and presents a high risk of fracture.
Today I wanted to give a little more insight on the newer composite restorations, These restorations have several benefits:
- The first obvious one is that the teeth can be restored with a great cosmetic match, relatively disappearing inside the tooth.
- The second big advantage is that the tooth preparations are more conservative due to the bonding of the composite to the tooth. Amalgam “silver” fillings are only held in by mechanical retention or uncercuts in the tooth. Because of this, often times a little more solid tooth needs to be removed to allow for thickness of material and also to allow it to ”lock” in place.
- The composite resins are actually bonded to the tooth so that they can actually help hold the tooth together. These restorations are stronger and more cosmetic then ever.
Composite fillings are great for small to medium restorations. For larger cavities, however, porcelain is the restoration of choice.
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