07 Aug Posterior Resins Pros And Cons
Today, “I want to replace my old silver fillings with white fillings” is an opening
chief complaint by many patients.
I would like to share my knowledge, experiences, and advice to our patients. Posterior white fillings are technically called resins or composites. Composites suggest a mixture of plastic and silica. Another way to say it, a glass filled light sensitive plastic that is applied in a soft state then cured with a visible blue light turning it into a hard material. We should all know that plastics were developed during the space exploration of the 1960’s that transformed packaging and tools overnight.
Dentistry began to explore uses and thus the beginning of white plastic fillings! Metal would slowly fade almost completely out. People began to change their attitude and desire for a more natural restoration. No longer did humans have to wear the shiny stigma of decay and destruction!
I stopped doing amalgam fillings when state insurances began to cover white fillings. I said to myself, if they are willing to change, then surely I should too.
I evolved with the technology learning what worked and what did not. Today I feel I am using the state of the art materials and delivery armamentarium for my patients. Please note: The image I provided this is the system that I use. This is my personal photography
Resin dental restorations have undergone and evolution just like any technological advance. We began using a self-curing material that looked nice on the day of delivery, but quickly stained becoming unsightly. The only good aspect of the material was that it had fluoride in it, and was decay resistant. So the patient had a decay free, ugly stained filling. This was not acceptable. The advances that would occur were stain resistance and color stability, easy to polish to a natural enamel shine, and today the chameleon composites.
Chameleon composites reflect the natural color of the tooth. I will tell you that I appreciate not having to purchase and keep in stock so many colors of composite materials! We also have improved with bonding agents. I believe we are on our 15th generation. Another improvement has been the delivery armamentarium so that we can create a moisture free environment to create an architecturally well done and hygienic restoration.
I can’t forget the polishing systems. Today we have some very sophisticated polishing burs that proficiently achieve smooth and beautiful results.
My advice to patients is to do their part in daily brushing with a good fluoridated toothpaste, flossing, and regular check-ups. You can use a motorized toothbrush if needed and recommended by our staff and night time supplemental fluoride gels.
Lastly, I want to encourage people to think about our environment and realize that we really need to protect not only ourselves from possible mercury poisoning, but our environment. Don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting that the silver fillings in your mouth are endangering your health. The scientific data today does not reflect that. I am talking about when there is waste during the procedure or when we remove the amalgam, we must be vigilant to dispose of correctly. That is not easy. So, let’s just stop using amalgam, OK?
Susanne O. Core, DMD