Modern Materials Used for Cosmetic Dentistry
Finding the best materials for restoring teeth to their proper function and natural appearance has long been a challenge, and things change as time moves on. For many decades silver amalgam was considered the best restorative or filling material for teeth since it was pretty strong once set and had low marginal leakage if properly used since in setting it expanded slightly and helped seal the margins of a filling. This is important in order to prevent micro-organisms gaining entry into the deeper tooth tissues and starting up the decay process once again.
Certain objections have been raised to the widespread use of amalgam though, the main one being the possible risk to health from small amounts of mercury leaking out of fillings over time. The other big disadvantage however has always been that amalgam is a silver or dark gray color in the mouth and not at all attractive. It certainly would not be tolerated in front teeth and this has led to the development of tooth colored fillings based on acrylics in the first instance, and now called composites because they incorporate very hard, tiny particles closely packed together in a moldable resin matrix.
Modern tooth colored composites are incredibly versatile and can be used on their own or in combination with various techniques involving other materials. Some are set purely chemically but many can also be set on command using a powerful halogen light source enabling larger fillings to be built up quickly and incrementally, sealing each layer in the process.
These composites can be used with an etch technique that creates an extremely strong bond between composite and tooth enamel, and this means that filling material can be attached to a tooth without needing to mechanically lock it into place which had always been the case with amalgam fillings.
By use of this bonding technique your Cosmetic Dentists Houston TX can do all sorts of marvellous things like reshaping a malformed front tooth by adding composite and re-contouring. He can repair small chips off the edge of teeth, or fill in small pits or dents in the surface. Resin composite can also be used as a veneer on the front of teeth in certain circumstances although by and large a porcelain veneer is longer lasting but the adhesion is achieved with the same kind of bonding process thanks to the newer types of resin composites. Porcelain veneers retain their color well since stains hardly adhere to them at all.
Porcelain can also be made strong enough now to use as a good material to fill cavities in teeth with excellent wear resistance and color matching capabilities. The process by which an exact porcelain inlay is made to fit into a tooth cavity is either from a mold and plaster model or by means of computer technology to cut an inlay to precise shape and measurements.
The match that can be achieved with modern dental materials is phenomenal and has to be seen to be believed, and on-going research will surely help to even further improve them, both in terms of performance and aesthetics.