White dental fillings (or composite resins) are the current modern filling material of choice used at St. Lawrence Dentistry and at most clinics in North America.
The new white filling materials have many advantages over their predecessors and they are continually being improved. One of the favorable properties of dental composites is that they have the ability to bond to tooth structure. This means no excess tooth has to be removed to make a retentive undercut to hold the material (unlike amalgam). Consequently, this has lead to fillings being smaller and more conservative which of course is better for your tooth.
St. Lawrence Dentistry only uses the composites from GC Corporation which are considered the leaders in white filling/composite technology. This premium brand composite has many advantages for the patient compared to other brands. One of the main GC products is G-ænial Sculpt. This is a resin that is easy to shape, sculpt and polish. G-ænial Sculpt provides a strong, wear-resistant and radiopaque finished restoration with beautiful esthetics. A self-shining effect enables simple, rough finishing with a bur to bring the restoration to a beautiful luster that will continue to increase in polish over time with excellent “chameleon” shade match to enamel. This feature helps to provide an exceptional clinical outcome for a wide variety of clinical procedures. If you need a white filling you may want to ask your dentist to use this premium filling product.
The key to success in white fillings is the precision and technique the dentist uses to place them. When the tooth for a white filling is prepared, any drilling must be done at a slow pace with the proper water cooling. Deeper areas should be cleaned with a very low RPM. Proper amounts of dental bonding agent must be applied, and the white filling material should be put in and set in small layers. This will ensure a white filing is sensitivity free and long lasting. Dr. Hawryluk Jr. will take all the necessary steps and time needed to make the best white filling possible for you.
Dental cavities, as their name implies, are essentially holes in your teeth caused by decay. You can sometimes spot a cavity, as the area surrounding the hole generally looks dark brown or gray. The main culprits to blame for your cavity are certain types of bacteria in your mouth. These bacteria are contained in plaque and they interact with the carbohydrates and sugars in your food creating an acidic environment that dissolves the protective enamel on the outer layer of your tooth. Once the acid succeeds in eroding the enamel, your tooth is exposed, leaving just the softer dentin layer, which will ultimately cause the formation of a cavity. At this point the decay process rapidly speeds up and spreads deeper into the tooth. In addition to potential pain and discomfort and possible tooth loss, if you wait to have your cavity filled it may end up requiring a more difficult process, such as a root canal, to save your tooth.The bottom line is you should get your cavity filled as soon as you can. After the decay in your tooth has been cleaned a bonding solution is applied. Finally, the composite filling material is applied. Composite is hardened by shining a high intensity blue light. It only takes a few seconds for the materials to harden. Once the tooth is filled and the composite has hardened, the filling is checked to insure the proper shape and look. At this point any necessary adjustments are made and then your filling is complete.
Below is an example of before and photos of decayed teeth treated with white fillings:
Figure 2: After White Filling Treatment
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A white filling can be used to repair a chipped tooth. The surfaces are around the chip are cleaned and the filling can be directly bonded. Below is an example of repair of a tooth chip.
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One reason why white fillings have become the most popular filling materials because they can match your existing tooth color. This is especially important when white filling material is used for dental bonding of front teeth in the esthetic zone. Dental bonding differs from a ‘filling’ in that no tooth is drilled first in a bonding, the filling material is just added. Below is an example of esthetic dental bonding at St. Lawrence Dentistry.
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One nice properly of white fillings is they can be repaired. Sometime St. Lawrence Dentistry sees patients where an only a portion of an existing white filling is defective. Dr. Hawryluk can remove the defective portion and bond in the repair. Below is an example of a filling repair at St. Lawrence Dentistry.
Another important use of white filling material is repair of dental erosion. When a patient has dental recession the root of the tooth is subject to the erosion forces of acidity (from drinks such as colas) and abrasion forces from brushing. This can create a dent in the root which can rapidly increase. Fortunately, this is easily treated with white filling material. Below is an example of repair of dental erosion.
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Finally, another important function is white fillings is they can be used to replace older amalgam fillings. Amalgam fillings were once the prevailing dental filling material but they have rapidly fell out of favor for several valid reasons. Several important precautions and attention to detail must be taken by the dentist if you are considering removing amalgam fillings.
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If you would like to learn more about the recent advancements in white filling materials and their possible benefits to you please call our officeclick here and book an appointment with Dr. Hawryluk Jr.