Composite fillings offer an excellent way to restore teeth that have a
cavity or an old filling that is failing. They can be used in both front
and back teeth and can provide a cosmetic improvement over fillings of
Bonded porcelain filling materials have a long history as a durable and
valued dental material. They are referred to as composites since they
are a composite, or mixture, of several materials, each with their
distinct properties. Modern composites are a mixture of high tech
porcelain particles within a matrix of bio-compatible, light curable
For many years, cavities in the back teeth were filled with amalgam, a
mixture of mercury, silver and tin. 150 years ago, this was the most
economically priced material available, but today we can have much
better results with the most up-to-date composite materials. Composites
have long been used in the front teeth, but older composites were not
durable enough to give lasting results in the back teeth.
Modern composites, however, offer vast improvements over materials of
the past. Major advantages of modern composite fillings are that they
can be bonded to the underlying tooth making them stronger, less
sensitive and allowing the restorations to be more conservative in size.
They also are more easily touched up should minor wear and tear happen.
The big advantage most people see, however is that they are matched to
the color of natural teeth, eliminating the black looking fillings of
the past. And, they are mercury-free, a factor that is becoming more
important in many people's minds.
Dr. Anderson's office has not used silver-mercury fillings in many
years, since composites offer clear advantages for their patients.