Composite resin is one of the materials that is designed for filling aesthetic dental restorations. Composite resin is designed in such a way that its color resembles that of your natural teeth. The main uses of composite resin are for filling dental cavities and also for dental bonding the front teeth.
The material comprises of quartz filler or glass combined with a resin medium. This mixture produces a filling whose color is that of natural teeth. This composite resin is a very effective substitute to the traditional amalgam dental fillings. However, there is no need to worry, even though the mixture contains glass and plastic, there is absolutely no metal in it. Perhaps the best thing about it is that it can be shaped to look like an ordinary tooth and people will not notice that your teeth have been filled.
How is a composite placed?
The dentist normally uses a light that is specialized to harden each of the layers after placing composite in these layers. After the completion of this process, the dentist will shape the composite in such a way that it fits the tooth that is to be filled. Finally, the composite will be polished so that staining and early wear do not occur.
What are the advantages of composites?
The main advantage of composites is the aesthetics that come with it. Dentists have the ability to shape the teeth and give them a color that will look exactly the same as that of your natural teeth. Also, the composite normally bonds the tooth in such a way that it supports the remaining tooth structure. This helps in avoiding breakage of the teeth. It also helps in insulating the tooth from extreme temperatures.
What are the disadvantages?
Postoperative sensitivity is one of the biggest side effects of having a composite. Another disadvantage is that the shade of the composite may change after consumption of some beverages such as coffee, tea or other staining foods. However, if you are overly concerned about this, you may ask the dentist to place a thin piece of clear plastic over the teeth so as to prevent this staining. Yet another disadvantage of composite fillings is that they wear out faster than silver fillings. This is more so the case if they have been used in large cavities.
Tooth Colored Fillings
Choosing Tooth-Colored Fillings over Amalgam
Many people are opting for composite fillings over silver amalgams. This is because silver amalgam fillings contain mercury and dentists are increasingly getting concerned over their safety. Since mercury is a toxic substance, dentists are researching as to whether mercury that has been used in silver amalgams can be toxic as it lives in the mouth region.
Many dentists hold the belief that tooth-colored fillings are a safe alternative to the silver amalgams. The filling in composite is composed of a durable composite resin. The good thing about this material is that it is a moldable plastic material which bonds to the tooth that it has filled. Also, this material is less conspicuous from the rest of the teeth as compared to silver amalgam.
Not only can the material by dyed to resemble the color of your natural teeth, it can also be altered so that it has the exact texture of the rest of your teeth. Many children also find silver amalgam to be rather embarrassing and so they opt for composite filling.
The advantages are numerous, such as:
- Almost invisible
- Free of toxic mercury
- Bonds to the teeth
Where Tooth-Colored Fillings are Applied
The best place for the application of tooth-colored fillings is in smaller restorations where the cause of cavity is lessened. The filling will not be effective in situations where the cavity is considered to be rather large and therefore prone to high pressure at the back of your mouth. A good cosmetic dentist has the ability to determine beforehand whether a filling can be applied or not.
Even after you have received your fillings, it is advisable to make regular visits to your dentist. The dentist will be able to check for any wear and tear on the teeth and advise you accordingly. Make sure that you ask a qualified dentist any questions you might have about your tooth-colored fillings. Good oral hygiene will also increase the life of a tooth-colored filling.