For decades tooth-colored fillings, also known as composite fillings, were only available for the anterior teeth. This was due to their lack of durability and strength needed for large fillings and back teeth. Your molars endure tons of pressure every day as you chew. The pressure is even higher for those prone to clenching their teeth or teeth grinding while sleeping. Early composites could not stand up to the forces to which molars were subjected. Consequently, amalgam fillings remained the standard filling material for cavities in these teeth.
Advanced Dental Technology and Materials
Throughout the years, dentists, dental technicians and scientists have worked to create tooth-colored filling material that could be used on all teeth no matter their location. The hurdles that needed to be cleared were strength, durability, and biocompatibility. All three factors play an important role because this material would be used in the mouth.
Not only would it be subject to extreme pressure, but consideration also had to be given to types of material that would be compatible with the oral environment. Additionally, the material would need to be compatible with the body as a whole as it would constantly be bathed in saliva, which would then be swallowed.
Years of research, trial and error brought about advancements that achieved the desired goals: durability, strength and biocompatibility. As a result, composites are now available for back teeth as well as anterior teeth. These new materials, new prep design of the tooth and technology have made it possible for dental patients to achieve their most natural-looking smile, even with fillings in their back teeth.
The Aesthetic Advantage
Silver fillings in the molars are not necessarily as visible as fillings in anterior teeth; however, there are times at which they can become noticeable. Broad smiles, laughter and singing are times that your back teeth may become visible to others. While the aesthetics are not quite as crucial as having composites in your front teeth, there is little argument that a mouth full of natural-looking teeth is preferable to one dotted with silver fillings.
Besides being an advantage in aesthetics, composite fillings also offer relief from metal allergies. Some patients have a mild allergy to the metals used in amalgam fillings. Others are sensitive to the metal taste of these fillings. Composite fillings eliminate these issues.
You may want to consider the advantages of having a completely natural-looking smile from front to back. For guidance and more information on replacing your silver fillings with natural-looking composites, contact Pine Ridge Dental today. Schedule your consultation appointment with us, and we will show you how beautiful your natural smile can look.