White fillings

Fillings Used by Dentists

The primary alternatives to dental amalgam are

  • Composite Resin Fillings
  • Glass and Plastic Ionomer Fillings

Composite Resin Fillings

Composite resin fillings are polymers, which are a large family of materials consisting of many distinct units or monomers each containing a number of double bonds. During polymerisation these double bonds break open allowing free branches to connect with adjacent monomers to allow the formation of a polymer.

Composite resin fillings are made of the main ingredient, the monomer (an acrylic resin) reinforced with powdered glass, coupling agents, stabilisers and inhibitors. Polymerisation is initiated with an ultraviolet light.

Four Different Stages of Tooth Fillings

Composite resin fillings are the most common alternative to dental amalgam. They are sometimes called “tooth-coloured” or “white” fillings because of their colour. The color (shade) of composite resins can be customised to closely match surrounding teeth.

The advantages of composite resin fillings are that they blend in with surrounding teeth, and require minimal removal of healthy tooth structure for placement.

The disadvantages of composite resin fillings are, they may be less durable than dental amalgam and may need to be replaced more frequently, and cost more than some other types of dental filling materials.

Glass Ionomer Cement Fillings

Glass ionomers are acid-based reaction between aluminosilicate glass powders and aqueous solutions of polymers and copolymers of acrylic acid and often include a component of glass that releases fluoride over time.

These fillings are also tooth-coloured but are not as close to tooth-coloured as composite resins. The composition and properties of glass ionomer cements are best suited for very small restorations and cavities away from the biting surface. Their primary advantage is their appearance, fluoride release, chemical adhesion to tooth structure and biocompatibility. Their chief disadvantage is that they are limited to use in small restorations.

We at North Road Dental Centre use the highest quality materials for all your dental work, speak to us for all your restorative needs.
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