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What do you use to fill cavities?

A composite resin is a tooth-colored plastic mixture filled with glass (silicon dioxide). Introduced in the 1960s, dental composites were confined to the front teeth because they were not strong enough to withstand the pressure and wear generated by the back teeth. Since then, composites have been significantly improved and can be successfully placed in the back teeth as well. Composites are not only used to restore decayed areas, but are also used for cosmetic improvements of the smile by changing the color of the teeth or reshaping disfigured teeth.
How is a composite placed?
Following preparation, we place the composite in layers, using a light specialized to harden each layer. When the process is finished, we will shape the composite to fit the tooth. We then polish the composite to prevent staining and early wear.


How long does it take to place a composite?

It takes the dentist about 10-20 minutes longer to place a composite than a silver filling. Placement time depends on the size and location of the cavity-the larger the size, the longer it will take.


What are the advantages of composites?

Esthetics is the main advantage, since we can blend shades to create a color nearly identical to that of the actual tooth. Composites bond to the tooth to support the remaining tooth structure, which helps to prevent breakage and insulate the tooth from excessive temperature changes.


What are the disadvantages?

After receiving a composite, a patient may experience post-operative sensitivity for couple of hours. Also, the shade of the composite can change slightly if the patient drinks tea, coffee or other staining foods. We can put a clear plastic coating over the composite to prevent the color from changing if a patient is particularly concerned about tooth color.


How long will a composite last?

Studies have shown that composites last 7-10 years, which is comparable to silver fillings.

 


         Fracture following accident                                             Restoration with composite
 FRACTURE_resize fracture-after(1)_resize

 

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