Composite is a tooth coloured material composed of glass particulates suspended in a resin matrix. They have been used in dentistry for many decades. They are constantly improved and enhanced and are used widely in the restoration of teeth.
The great advantage of composites is that they are placed and hardened in the dental chair. They are time efficient and relatively inexpensive and do not usually require specialist laboratory construction.
Their use includes the restoration of dental cavities, the replacement of dental amalgam (metal alloys), and the restoration of teeth when they have been worn or chipped away. In addition, composites are often used for aesthetic reasons to enhance the contour, shape, colouring or relative position of the front teeth.
An amalgam is an alloy or combination of two or more metals. Amalgam fillings (silver fillings) are made up of mercury, powdered silver and tin. They are mixed and packed into cavities in teeth. It hardens slowly, and replaces the missing tooth substance.
Amalgam fillings are held in place by the shape of the prepared cavity. The cavity has to have an undercut to prevent the filling from falling out. The amalgam is then slotted into the cavity. It is still commonly used, despite an ongoing debate about mercury toxicity.
Diastema closure or gap closure of the teeth can be done using several methods, like orthodontics, composite bonding, or porcelain veneers for optimal aesthetic results.
Sometimes, a diastema is part of a set of problems that require orthodontic treatment. In other cases, a diastema is the only problem. However, some people may seek treatment for reasons of appearance.