Back 17 July 2017

What Are Composite Fillings Made Of?

Composite resins (a.k.a. white or tooth-colored fillings) provide a durable, strengthened alternative or replacement to traditional amalgam (a.k.a. silver or mercury) fillings. 

Modern composites can be applied to either front or back teeth. They are made from a blend of non-toxic tooth-coloured plastic and glass beads for dental restoration of decayed or fractured teeth and cosmetic improvements.

The use of dental composite resins began in the late 1960’s when composite resins were introduced as an alternative to silicates and unfulfilled resins which were then frequently used for restorative dental work.

Contemporary composite resins are typically formulated from:

• Bis-GMA (bisphenol A-glycidyl methacrylate)

• Dimethacrylate monomers (TEGMA, UDMA, HDDMA)

• Filler materials eg. Silica (Silicon dioxide) silica

• Synthetic photoinitiator

• Dimethylglyoxime

The physical properties of resin composites can be revised for specific dental needs by formulating unique concentrations of each of these constituents.

The Milford Dental team believe white fillings in addition to crowns, overlays or caps are a physically superior alternative to traditional dental amalgam fillings and consider them to be a stronger, safer and more durable dental solution.

As a commitment to providing the best dental services and products for our clients, Milford Dentists have opted to be Mercury Amalgam Free since 1999.

The History Of Composite Fillings

Initially, composites were set by a chemical reaction between two pastes containing an activator (tertiary amine) and an initiator (benzoyl peroxide). To overcome some procedural disadvantages, light-curing, UV resin composites were introduced during the 1970’s. However, limitations and risks from the first ultraviolet units meant they were later replaced by visible light-curing systems.

As the 1970’s came to a close, a new range of micro filled systems was introduced into the European market that provided increased colour stability and higher resistance to wear than previous composites.

By 1981, micro filled composites had been improved remarkably and a new acid etch technique was implemented and a bonding agent was applied.

Composite fillings are now bonded to the tooth, which strengthens its structure and restores some of the tooth's original dental integrity. Very high bond strengths to tooth structure, both enamel and dentin, can be achieved with the current generation of dentin/enamel bonding agents.

Composite Fillings Today

Composite resin fillings can now be used to repair chipped, broken or worn teeth which would not be suitable for repair using amalgam or mercury fillings.

Minor damage to a composite filling can often now be easily repaired by adding additional composite material, whereas amalgam fillings often require a complete replacement.

Ideally, the best dental filling is no dental filling. You can significantly decrease the risk of cavities and other dental issues simply by:

• Brushing twice daily with fluoride toothpaste
• Flossing daily
• Eating a balanced diet
• Having regular dental visits

Considering a composite resin white filling for restoration or replacement? Contact Milford Dentists at (09) 489 6575 to learn more or schedule a visit today. We will check out your dental history, discuss your treatment options, and get you back on track towards optimal oral health with a brand new bright, white smile.

Posted by Andrea