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Composite Restorations

Dental decay, filling of decayed teeth and root canal treatment are probably the most important reasons for visiting a dentist. Included in this section are dental animations that explain how dental decay occurs, the sites which are affected by decay and the various treatment principles of dental decay, fillings and root canal treatment. Healthy teeth are important for overall health. Dental decay or cavities affects a major part of the population and is the single most important cause of loss of teeth. Most people ignore dental caries till it reaches the inner pulp tissue of the tooth causing infection of the tooth and the underlying bone. Endodontic therapy or root canal treatment as it is commonly called, helps in saving such teeth and restoring the dental health of the individual. Our dental animations explain to you the root canal treatment procedure.
Caries or dental decay is a disease in which the tooth is destroyed by softening as a result of growth of microorganisms on and around the teeth in the presence of food particles. The grinding surface of teeth usually has many grooves and pits and is therefore prone for accumulation of food and microorganisms. Thus the grinding surface of the back teeth shows high incidence of dental decay. In addition the area around the contact between the teeth, is also the starting point of decay. Other areas of decay are the pits found on the outer surface of the molars and small pits on the inner side of the upper front teeth
Modern day esthetic dentistry makes it possible to restore teeth using esthetic restorative materials that are tooth colored. Included in this section are dental animations of esthetic treatment procedures including restoration of teeth with composite restorations

Composite “white” fillings
Dental composite bonding is a popular choice for fillings because the material can match the shade and translucency and even the texture of your own natural teeth and provides a much better aesthetic result than old amalgam / silver fillings , which can be unsightly when you smile. Cosmetic dentists often replace old metal fillings with tooth coloured composite. There is much debate in dentistry as to the safety of mercury containging amalgam fillings and many dentists are of the opinion that metal fillings must be removed using a safe protocol which involves isolating the teeth using a rubber dam material.

Can bonding be used for all cavities?

Bonding is not suitable if you have large cavities in your teeth as the material does not have a strong structure over large areas. Bonding is ideal for small fillings that are not exposed to great forces.

So what is the procedure of composite bonding?

If the procedure requires a local anaesethetic (not all bonding procedures do) your dentist will first numb the area by injecting a local anaesthetic into the gum area around the tooth. The tooth surface where the composite will be applied is thoroughly cleaned to remove any debris or tartar accumulation as the composite needs a clean surface to bond to. Once the correct shade of composite has been selected by your dentist the tooth is kept dry by surrounding it with cotton rolls or a latex sheet (rubber dam) and then shaped or rougned by the dentist using a special tool.
The surface of the tooth is then etched with a special phosphoric acid based gel, which provides a better surface for the composite to adhere to. The composite (bonding agent) is then applied to the etched tooth surface. and exposed to a special light source (curing light) which activates the composite to harden and set. The bonding agent is often applied to the tooth in several thin layers (1-2 mm) until the desired shape, translucency and texture is achieved. The final step involves polishing and buffing the composite to give the final desired shape and smooth finish.

What are the disadvantages to composite bonding?

The main drawbacks of bonding are that it doesn’t have the strength of other restorative materials such as ceramic or porcelain and it has a greater tendency to stain than your surrounding natural teeth or porcelain.