Achieving Long-Lasting Tooth Color Fillings at Praus Dentistry
Tooth color fillings, professionally known as “composite restorations,” are not just aesthetically pleasing but also conservative and durable. At Praus Dentistry, we take pride in our commitment to providing long-lasting composite restorations by employing clinically proven adhesive materials and techniques. Here’s a step-by-step overview of our process:
Step 1: Isolation with Rubber Dam
One of the critical aspects of successful bonding is the isolation of the tooth. We start by placing a rubber dam to create a controlled environment. This step is essential because the bonding material is hydrophobic, meaning it does not bond well to wet tooth surfaces and mouth has 100% humidity. The rubber dam not only keeps the tooth dry but also prevents saliva and blood from contaminating the prepared tooth surface before bonding.
Step 2: Removal of Decay
Carefully removing tooth decay (or cavities) is crucial while preserving healthy tooth structure. To aid in this process, we use caries detector dye, which assists in identifying areas of diseased tooth structure due to cavities. Our goal is to create the perfect space for the tooth color filling without unnecessarily removing healthy tooth structure.
Step 3: Air Abrasion
We utilize an AquaCare air abrasion machine to thoroughly clean the tooth surface before priming and bonding. This mechanical etching of the tooth surface serves two purposes: it increases the bonding surface and removes any debris that might interfere with bonding. Additionally, it compacts the smear layer into the dentin, reducing post-operative sensitivity. While many dental offices use chemical etching with phosphoric acid or all-in-one prime and bonding agents, we prefer the mechanical approach for its efficacy and predictability.
Step 4: Primer and Adhesive Application
In this step, we apply a primer that is gently scrubbed onto the tooth surface for at least 20 to 40 seconds. The primer contains both hydrophilic and hydrophobic chemicals, facilitating the adherence of the bonding agent and composite resin to the tooth. After primer application, we gently air dry the surface and proceed to apply the bonding agent. At Praus Dentistry, we use Clearfil SE Protect primer and bonding agent, known for providing the best long-term bonded surface.
Step 5: Composite Resin Application
We start by applying a heavily filled flowable resin onto the bonded surface. Subsequently, we layer the packable composite resin material in 2mm to 3mm increments to minimize shrinkage. This meticulous layering process ensures that the composite resin conforms to the natural anatomy of the tooth while minimizing microscopic gaps between the filling material and the bonded tooth surface. Shaping the anatomy is essential to create functional chewing surfaces and prevent bite trauma on the tooth.
Step 6: Bite Check and Adjustment
Once the restoration is in place, we perform a thorough bite check and make any necessary adjustments. Ensuring that your bite is properly aligned is crucial for your comfort and the long-term durability of the restoration.
Step 7: Polishing for Longevity
To complete the process, we meticulously polish the restoration. This final step is essential as it not only enhances the appearance of the restoration but also prevents staining around the filling, ensuring your restoration remains stain-free longer.
At Praus Dentistry, our dedication to using advanced techniques and materials ensures that your tooth color fillings are not only aesthetically pleasing but also provide lasting results. See the results here for yourself on our Before & After page.
If you’re interested in learning more about our composite restoration services, please contact our office and schedule a consultation with our experienced dentist. We are committed to helping you maintain your oral health and your beautiful smile.