Plastic (technical term âcompositeâ) has been around for several decades. While the first generations of this product were fairly unstable, we do have composites with excellent qualities today. They are enriched with glass â and ceramic particles.
The caries/decay is removed and the defect is filled with composite in the same session. The material is âgluedâ onto the tooth. Therefore, we have to isolate the working area with a latex sheet (rubber dam), so that the area stays dry and uncontaminated. The preparation of the tooth can be kept to a minimal, due to the bonding technique.
The restorations/fillings in the front teeth are most often treated with composites, while the posterior teeth (teeth further back) are only filled with this white material, when smaller defects are present. This is due to the stability of the material against the chewing forces. The larger the defect, the larger the loadings, the sooner the composites are worn out, and the restoration starts to leak. Then there is no barrier for more caries/decay.
Therefore, we recommend the use of ceramic restorations to restore larger defects.
The composites can discolour over time, especially tea, coffee and nicotine deposit their pigments in the composite. Therefore, the margins of the restoration have to be checked regularly and maintained at the cleaning appointments.
The composite material distinguishes itself with good aesthetics, minimal preparation of the tooth, completing the treatment in one session and the favourable price.
These advantages favour composites as restorative material for anterior teeth (higher quality treatment only possible by using ceramic veneers) and small posterior fillings.