Explained by a San Diego Cosmetic Dentist
In the 70s and 80s, silver fillings were far more popular than they are today. Thanks to modern technology, people can turn to composite fillings which are developed to match the look and feel of natural teeth instead of having a mouth full of noticeable, metal fillings. Composite fillings are made by a mixture of glass and quartz filler, and they are commonly used on the back or front teeth.
Why You May Need a Composite Filling
A composite (tooth colored) filling is used to repair a tooth that is affected by decay, cracks, fractures, etc. The decayed or affected portion of the tooth will be removed and then filled with a composite filling.
Reasons for composite fillings:
- Chipped teeth
- Closing space between two teeth
- Cracked or broken teeth
- Decayed teeth
- Worn teeth
The Benefits of Composite vs. Amalgam Fillings
In many cases if a patient is given the choice between amalgam (metal) and the tooth-like composite fillings, they will choose composite fillings due to their natural appearance.
There are many advantages to composite fillings and these include:
- Composites provide a natural look and feel unlike traditional silver fillings
- Composites are mercury free
- Restored teeth are less sensitive to hot and cold than with amalgam
- They chemically bond to the tooth structure, thus providing additional support
- Less tooth structure needs to be removed in the process
Using Nature as a Guide
In the past dentistry aimed at creating "stronger" teeth by using very durable and rigid materials to replace damaged or decayed teeth. Unfortunately, these rigid materials would contribute to further decay by allowing additional decay and cracking to occur.
Today's modern dentistry uses nature as a guide by constantly searching for materials that closely mimic the natural form and function of our teeth. This combination of art and science takes into consideration restoring the natural function and internal shape of the tooth. With composite fillings, the tooth, in whole or in part is recreated using materials that respond as a healthy tooth would.
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