What is it?
Tooth-colored fillings are performed using composite resins; they are based on glass particles immersed in a resin matrix. Composite resin mimics very well with the remaining tooth structure if a correct layering technique is adopted.
Composite resins have long been used in the restoration of defects in front teeth, and have been increasingly applied in the restoration of posterior defects as well. Posterior composites represent an esthetic alternative to “silver fillings” (dental amalgam) for back teeth. Composite resins are indicated for the restoration of decayed teeth, fractured teeth, replacement of missing or failing existing restorations and esthetic reasons. An increasing number of patients is coming to our office asking for the replacement of amalgam black fillings with composite resin tooth-colored fillings.
Dr Deliperi completed both in vitro and in vivo research projects; he developed new layering techniques in the attempt to preserve remaining sound tooth structure and avoid the cementation of artificial crowns. Dr Deliperi’s findings demonstrated that composite resin restoration can be predictably performed on both anterior and posterior teeth; he extended the application of this technique even in severely damaged teeth. The results of this conservative technique were presented in the most important dental research meetings both in Europe and in the United States.
Advantages and disadvantages
In the past, restorations always had to be mechanically retained in the tooth. As a consequence, the dentist was required to routinely create retention forms at the expense of sound tooth structure; otherwise, the restorations would become loose. Currently, restorations can be adhesively bonded to non-retentive preparations in the teeth by means of dental adhesives. The use of dental adhesive allows the conservative restoration of the tooth and reinforcement of the remaining tooth structure.
It takes longer to perform a tooth-colored filling than an amalgam filling; the operative procedure is also more technique sensitive.
However, particular care of the dentist and the adequate use of clinical protocols allow tooth-colored fillings to provide years of excellent service.