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Acidic Beverages Can Weaken, Discolor Composite Fillings

If you are looking for tooth-colored fillings, we offer two options: composite fillings and ceramic fillings. Ceramic fillings are more durable than composite fillings.

Now a new study highlights another potential weakness of composite fillings: vulnerability to acidic beverages.

The study shows that it’s important to avoid drinking too many acidic beverages if you want your fillings to stay white.

Drinks Can Stain White Fillings

Three Types of Composites

For this study, researchers looked at three different types of composite materials:

  • Composite resin (Filtek Z250)
  • Compomer (Dyract XP)
  • Giomer (Beautifil II)

They made 75 different samples of each material to conduct three different experiments: one on the wettability of materials, one on the hardness of materials, and one on the discoloration of materials. For each experiment, they soaked five discs of each material in each of five different beverages (pH given in parentheses–lower numbers are more acidic):

  • Coca-cola (1.4)
  • Orange Juice (3.01)
  • Coffee (4.45)
  • Energy Drink (2.18)
  • Water (7.00)

Discs were soaked in the beverage for a total of three hours a day for five days. Beverages were replaced each day with a fresh beverage. It’s worth noting that the cola used in this study conducted in Korea must be a different form that what we have in the US. In the US, Coca-Cola typically measures a pH range of about 2.4.

Hardness Reduced

They found that soaking the restorative materials in each beverage–even water–reduced the hardness of the restorations. In general, the composite resin saw the least reduction of hardness in beverages, except in orange juice, where the giomer retained more of its strength (in water, the resin and giomer were comparable). The compomer had the lowest initial hardness, and it was also most seriously impacted by the beverages, especially by orange juice and the energy drink. This shows it has a vulnerability to citric acid, which is common in both these beverages, but less common in coffee or cola.

Discoloration

For discoloration, we want to consider two different values, a perceptible color change, and a color change that most people would consider to be a different color, what we’d describe as an unacceptable color change. For the resin, perceptible color changes were created by coffee, energy drinks, and water (!?). However, an unacceptable color change only resulted from coffee.

For the compomer, all beverages created a perceptible color change, with cola, coffee, and energy drinks creating unacceptable staining. For the giomer, everything but water created a perceptible color change, and the cola, coffee, and energy drinks created an unacceptable color change.

Ceramics Are Stronger and More Acid Resistant

This study proves what we’ve already talked about: composite tooth-colored fillings are vulnerable to staining. It also reminds us that they can actually be damaged by acidic foods and beverages. This is as true if the material is used for cosmetic dental bonding as when it’s used for fillings.

Since these beverages can also damage your teeth, it’s a good idea to cut down on consumption anyway. However, if you are looking for stronger, more stain- and erosion-resistant restorations, you can opt for ceramic restorations. Veneers, crowns, inlays, and onlays not only have higher initial strength than these composites, they aren’t as vulnerable to attack by acid, and won’t stain as much.

To learn more about your options for getting the most attractive dental restorations in the area of Rochester, MI, please call (248) 923-4155 today for an appointment with a cosmetic dentist at Doolin Haddad Advanced Dentistry.

By |November 7th, 2018|Restorative Dentistry|