Today we are exploring the Benefits of Photopolymer Fillings in detail. Dentistry is a special medical field that is improving every day, thanks to innovative inventions and discoveries, so it is not surprising that doctors use modern materials and equipment to treat diseases of the oral cavity, which significantly increases its effectiveness. Let’s figure out what a photopolymer (light) filling is, what is the composition of photo files, what types they are, what are the distinguishing features of this installation and whether are there any special recommendations for care after the procedure.

Photopolymer Fillings

Sealing: concept and features

This is the most effective way to restore the integrity of damaged or caries-affected dental units. During the process, the composite components used harden under the influence of light (ultraviolet radiation), and not due to chemical reactions, as is the case with standard filling techniques.

For successful polymerization, ultraviolet lamps are used. UV rays are directed to the composite and act for a strictly set time (usually 40 seconds). If this interval is exceeded, the material may crack. The composition is applied in layers to prevent the appearance of cracks and give the product the most natural appearance.

Standard indications for installation:

  • The need to restore the anterior and chewing units in the diagnosis of carious lesions, periodontitis,
  • Pulpitis, and other dental pathologies;
  • Violation of the aesthetics of the dentition due to cracks, chips of enamel, wide interdental gaps, etc.;
  • Preparatory stage before the use of orthopaedic structures;
  • Splinting of teeth during orthodontic treatment, periodontitis therapy;
  • Production of veneers and inlays from composites for restoration activities;
  • Elimination of chips on ceramic crowns.

Types of light-cured fillings

Products are divided into different types depending on the substances used and the area of application. According to the second criterion, the following types of photo seals are used:

  • For artistic restoration of dentition. Special composite compositions for the restoration of aesthetics contain special nanoparticles that penetrate deep into tissues and mimic the natural enamel layer. The anterior areas are restored using liquid micro composites, which allow for detailed modeling of the size and shape of the incisors. Such materials are very durable, they are distinguished by a huge variety of shades, and natural transparency. Teeth restored in this way cannot be visually distinguished from natural enamel.
  • To improve chewing dental units. Carious cavities of premolars and molars are quite large and therefore require significant costs. That is why they contain large photo-composite particles and are harder than art restoration products. The special structure allows for high strength with little shrinkage.

Types of light-cured fillings


Let’s look at what a light seal consists of and how it is made. From the name, it becomes clear that the light-cured material is a nanocomposite that hardens after ultraviolet exposure to a special lamp. It includes the following components:

  • Organic matrix;
  • Filler of inorganic origin;
  • Surface-active ingredient.

They may vary depending on the clinical picture and the individual characteristics of the patient, the need to restore the anterior incisors or chewing molars, and premolars. The composite consists of particles of different diameters, both the smallest and the largest. For example, small-caliber particles are used for filling anterior incisors. The doctor, like a jeweler, processes complex areas and recreates the structure and shape of the crowns with maximum accuracy. Large nanocomposites are stronger. With their help, chewing teeth that experience increased stress are most often restored.

Products with the content of the so-called nanohybrid filler stand out separately. They combine the best properties: resistance to mechanical stress, durability, and aesthetics.

Pros and cons of a light photo-composite filling

This type of filling material has many advantages. The positives include:

  • The plasticity of the composition used.
  • Excellent adhesion to hard dental tissues. This prevents the penetration of pathogenic microorganisms and the occurrence of inflammatory processes.
  • Unlimited processing time.
  • Tooth restoration with high precision. An experienced dentist can perform complex artistic restoration of destroyed incisors, canines, and molars.
  • Universal application for various dental problems.
  • Uniform hardening of the contents, helps to prevent the appearance of cracks and chips.
  • The possibility of using it in the treatment of both the anterior units and the chewing elements of the dentition is invisible to others.
  • Light transmission, a huge selection of shades for different colors of natural enamel. The doctor can select the composition with high accuracy.
  • Stealth. Others will not see that the front teeth are sealed.
  • Long service life (up to 5-7 years or more).
  • Increased strength of the composite, abrasion resistance, and temperature extremes. The product will not crack or split if consumed hot or too cold drinks and food, and in other “harsh” conditions.

Unfortunately, nanocomposites are not without drawbacks:

  • Shrink when using cheap substances;
  • There is a risk of incomplete polymerization if the doctor does not follow the technology or applies Too many layers of the composition.

In general, as such, there are no negative sides. There are limitations and other features that an experienced dentist always takes into account in his work.

How to Strengthen Gums With Natural Remedies

The process of making light seals, the types of materials used

The basis is a special helio-composite structure. When exposed to ultraviolet rays of a special apparatus, it polymerizes due to the process of decomposition into radicals that trigger the hardening mechanism.

When performing the procedure, the following types of products are used, depending on what they are made of:

  • Macro- and micro-filled;
  • Nanohybrids;
  • Minefield.

The degree of filling depends on the diameter of the constituent particles. The larger they are, the stronger the filling substance will be after solidification. However, the aesthetic appeal suffers.

Light-polymer filling is performed using environmentally friendly and safe for human-formulations. These include polymer matrix, fillers, and adhesive solutions.

How to install a light filling in a tooth

The installation process consists of several successive stages, such as:

  1. Preparation for the process. All tooth surfaces must be thoroughly cleaned of food particles, and plaque using a special polishing paste. Then the specialist selects the appropriate shade of the filling mass according to a special color scale. The doctor makes an anesthetic injection, having previously treated the soft tissues with a local anesthetic.
  2. Preparation of a carious cavity. The gums are isolated with a rubber dam and cotton swabs. The damaged area of hard tissues is prepared using special spherical cutters. Destroyed dentin is removed, and the hole is prepared for filling. The dentist degreases the surfaces and applies a solution to improve the adhesive properties.
  3. Installation of a photopolymer product. The nanocomposite is applied in layers and evenly distributed over the cleaned cavity. Each new row is illuminated with ultraviolet rays using a special lamp for half a minute.
  4. Grinding, bite check. The hardened contents, after removing all unnecessary, are polished with a paste-like composition. At the very end, you need to check the occlusal contact and, if necessary, correct the result.

How long does it take to put light photo seals – seals for both the front and chewing units? If we are not talking about uncomplicated caries, the whole procedure takes about half an hour. If a patient is diagnosed with pulpitis or periodontitis, several visits to the dentist will be required.

In the treatment of deep caries without depopulation, it is necessary to isolate the pulp chamber before installation using a special gasket with a glass ionomer cement composition. If the tooth is severely damaged (more than half), the stump is first strengthened with an inlay or pin, and in case of severe destruction, an artificial crown is placed.

light filling in a tooth

How is it different from a regular product?

Differences from the classic filling are that it:

  • Non-toxic, no harmful components dangerous to the human body are released during the procedure;
  • Allows you to restore dental units in such a way that it is imperceptible to others (how a light filling looks on a front tooth can be seen in the photo);
  • Represented by a huge variety of shades of the compositions used;
  • Long service life;
  • Does not interfere with professional whitening, or grinding of teeth;
  • Has no restrictions on eating and drinking immediately after visiting the dentist;
  • Does not bring any discomfort.

All of these features are at the same time the advantages of this method. With all the advantages of the procedure, we will dwell in more detail further.


Despite the many advantages of photo-composite filling over its other types, it is not allowed for all patients. Dentists identify absolute and relative restrictions, in the presence of which the restoration of dental units in this way is not carried out:

  • The need for installation for a short time. Before starting treatment, it is important to decide which type of product is suitable in a particular case – temporary or permanent. The first version of a photo seal, installed for a short period, is an unjustified expense for the patient. This type of filling material is best used with a perspective of years rather than a couple of weeks or months.
  • Location of the tooth. In hard-to-reach areas, it is not possible to ensure good polymerization. As a result, this does not affect the quality of the work performed in the best way. In this case, it is recommended to give preference to conventional chemical compositions, rather than light-cured ones.
  • The patient’s age is up to 14 years. This is due, first of all, to the physiological characteristics of the child’s body. For example, this includes increased salivation and fragile tooth germs that cannot withstand additional loads. In addition, young children cannot keep their mouths open for a long time during filling, which prevents the quality of medical manipulations.

Care after the procedure

When a dental filling made of polymeric material has already been installed, the patient must follow certain recommendations so that the treatment is not in vain, and the result is preserved for more than one year. Basic rules developed by leading dentists:

  • Compliance with a special diet. During the first few days, it is important to eliminate coloring foods and drinks from the diet, as well as aggressive foods (too hard, sour, etc.). It is desirable to minimize their use in the future. It is worth temporarily refraining from strong tea and coffee, sweet soda, pomegranate juice, blueberries, beets, pastries, and sweets of all kinds. Vegetables, fruits, and cereals are only welcome on the patient’s menu.
  • Regular good oral hygiene. It is necessary not only to carry out daily hygienic brushing with toothpaste but also to rinse your mouth with clean water after each meal, use mouthwash, and dental floss (floss).
  • A visit to the dentist to assess the quality of the filling is performed no later than six months after the procedure. The doctor will examine the teeth and, if necessary, carry out a professional cleaning.

Installation cost and service life of a light-cured filling

Most patients and doctors opt for photopolymers due to the ideal price-quality ratio. The total amount of the service provided primarily depends on the complexity of the work, the materials used, the category of specialists, the region where the clinic is located, and other factors. Prices are in a fairly wide range, on average – from 800 to 5,000 rubles.

As a rule, the product lasts at least 4 years. However, practice shows that with high-quality comprehensive oral care and compliance with all medical recommendations, you can go up to 7 years. At the same time, it will not only not lose its functionality, but also retain its aesthetic appeal. If the patient neglects the advice of dentists, the risk of damage to the photo filling increases after 2-3 years.

On what other factors depends on the service life:

  • Individual characteristics of the organism;
  • Professionalism and experience.

How long after the procedure can I eat

Fillings for teeth made of photopolymers in dentistry harden immediately after installation. For this reason, you can eat without maintaining any time intervals. However, doctors still advise waiting for a little, at least 1-2 hours.

Polymerization is completely completed after a day. Therefore, it is better, during the first 24 hours, not to consume foods containing bright coloring pigments. It is also necessary to refrain from smoking, hot drinks, strong tea, and coffee.


Conclusion on Photopolymer Fillings

Currently, many filling compositions are used for dental treatment and satisfying any needs of patients with different financial capabilities and preferences. Light fillings made of photopolymer materials in dentistry are the most modern and effective due to many advantages over other methods of restoring dentition. Photo fillings are much more durable, stronger, and more aesthetic, so all dentists agree that they should be given preference.