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Filling Materials

Badly Damaged Teeth

[Our office is a general & cosmetic dental practice. We perform more services than are listed as topics under the main heading for this portion of our website. Please click on, “Services” above for a more complete list of the wide variety of help, for you, which we provide.]

Our office has been utilizing bonded tooth colored “fillings” for immediate restoration of teeth for many years. According to current research, these restorative materials are very wear resistant, help prevent future decay and reinforce surrounding tooth structure better than older types of restorations. However, they are brittle and should not be used for very large restorations.

One type of white filling material is called a compomer. It is more flexible than conventional tooth colored materials, absorbs and releases fluoride, and has no appreciable shrinkage. It is not as wear resistant as other materials, thus it is not to be used on chewing surfaces of the posterior permanent teeth. It is best used at the gum line, and under more wear resistant materials between teeth. This material absorbs fluoride from your toothpaste, and releases it over a long period of time in amounts significant enough to help prevent recurrent decay. This type of material is also extremely well tolerated by the nerve within a tooth when there is deep decay and can actually help the nerve heal in these situations which can help prevent nerve death and the need for a root canal. We use this material whenever possible.

There are a number of other white filling materials which are designed to be very strong and wear resistant however none of these materials have clinically significant fluoride effects. These materials can be bonded over the top of the material mentioned in the previous paragraph to provide strength and wear resistance where needed. Thus, the best restoration for cavities between teeth is compomer where higher fluoride content can help prevent decay from starting again and then over this material a stronger more wear resistant material is bonded for chewing wear and break-resistant strength. This is how we restore these teeth at Smiles of Skokie.