White Composite Fillings
Composite fills are completed with a restorative material that contains 30-50% less resin than many other composite brands. Less resin means a reduction in the presence of trace amounts of bisphenols. The composite filling used in our office does not contain any Bisphenol A or B. The composite material used by Dr. DeGregorio tests high for biocompatibility among patients.
Even for smaller restorations, positive points of comparison with amalgams do not mean composites are the perfect filling material for everyone. There is speculation over potential estrogen-mimicking effects of plastic chemicals like Bisphenol A contained in certain composite resins.
Any dental material made with BisGMA may contain trace amounts of Bisphenol A. Some companies strive to produce significantly less toxic materials. VOCO (www.voco.com) brand restorative materials contain 30-50% less resin than many other composite brands, proportionately reducing potential presence of trace amounts of bisphenols. Furthermore, VOCO does not add Bisphenol A or B to its composites. Because less resin is present in its products, VOCO tests high for biocompatibility (Clifford Labs: ccrlab.com), and Scientific Health Solutions classifies VOCO products (Admira, Grandio, etc.) in the Least Reactive Components category for dental restorative materials. Other brands similar to VOCO are available.
Porcelain is the most biocompatible, hypo-allergenic, non-metallic restorative material of which we are aware at this time. Porcelain restorations are also dramatically less effected by factors that influence longevity of both amalgams and white composite fillings: i.e., restorative technique, filling size, your body chemistry, and your nutritional intake. Porcelain restorations (inlays, onlays, crowns) can last 12-15 years or longer. We offer lab-processed porcelain or, for your convenience, CEREC CAD/CAM technology for same-day, on-site porcelain restorations.
Potential longevity of dental restorations is a critical factor because every dental procedure represents trauma to the nerve of the tooth. Repeated trauma to the nerve from filling replacement during the course of a lifetime will eventually cause nerve breakdown. Porcelain restorations cost more initially than amalgams or composites, but porcelain’s longevity decreases the potential need for root canal therapy.
Whether the filling is of amalgam, white composite or porcelain, longevity is influenced by the amount of natural tooth structure preserved during removal of decay. An amalgam filling cannot adhere to tooth surfaces, and the amalgam-placing dentist must create an undercut after removing decay, sacrificing healthy tooth structure to trap the amalgam filling in place. For composites or porcelain, the dentist strives to remove decay only. The cleaned-out space inside the tooth for a composite or porcelain prep often has relatively straight or inward-slanting walls. Healthy tooth structure is preserved.
Again, we encourage you to research safety issues surrounding amalgam restorations for yourself. When existing amalgam fillings are mechanically intact, it must be your personal choice to have them replaced with other materials, whether for health or esthetic reasons.