Tooth Coloured Adhesive Restorations (white fillings)
When a tooth is decayed or broken down, a filling becomes necessary to restore its’ normal function and appearance. A filling (or restoration) is also of benefit to prevent continued decay and breakdown of the tooth.
Tooth coloured adhesive materials are used routinely at our practice to restore teeth. These materials can adhere (or bond onto) the tooth structure. Due to this property of the material, there is less need to remove healthy tooth structure to retain the filling within the tooth. (Amalgam restorations required mechanical retention, so it was necessary to cut and shape the tooth to hold it in place. In the process, healthy parts of the tooth needed to be cut away).With adhesive restorative materials, the tooth can be prepared in a conservative manner by removing only the decayed portion of the tooth and only the weakened parts of the tooth structure.
We use two types of adhesive filling materials:
- Composite resin
- Glass ionomers
Composite resin is composed of two basic parts; a filler (very small particles of glass quartz or zirconium) in a matrix of resin. Different components within the material give it a range of different tooth shades and characteristics like opaqueness and translucency. Combining and layering the right shades and characteristics can successfully mimic the appearance of natural tooth structure.
One special component of composite resin, called the activator, controls the setting reaction of the material when exposed to a curing light. This property of the material allows it to be placed and molded while still soft and then, when it is ready, it can be set hard by a curing light.
Composite resins can be used to restore anterior teeth (front teeth) that have been affected by decay or trauma or improve the colour, shape and appearance. They can also be used to restore posterior teeth (back teeth).
The cost of a composite filing will vary. This will depend on the size of the cavity or the amount of material that is required to rebuild the tooth.
Our aim is to complete your restoration as efficiently and as comfortably as possible.
In most cases, the procedure for composite resin filling will require local anaesthesia. Effective pain management means you can be at ease for the whole procedure while the tooth is prepared. Your comfort will contribute to a better result and a more pleasant visit.
Before the tooth is ready to receive the filling, the tooth surface is treated in a number of steps. These steps involve the application of etch, primer and bonding agent with tiny brushes on the tooth surface. This process ensures the effectiveness of the bond of tooth to the filling material.
The filling material is placed in layers and each layer is set with the curing light. After the final layer is placed and cured the filling is trimmed and contoured. Finally, we will check to see that the fits in with your bite before the final polish.
Glass ionomer materials are tooth coloured restorations. These restorations are not as durable and aesthetic as composite resin restorations but they have properties which make them the material of choice in certain situations.