Today, dentists and patients have several choices when it comes to the materials that are used to restore teeth that have fractured or decayed. If you’re looking for a more natural-looking filling, then a composite resin filling may be a good choice for you.
Composite resin is a mixture of plastic and powdered glass that mimics the natural appearance of the tooth. Composite resin fillings are used to make cosmetic improvements to your teeth, such as changing the color of the teeth, restoring decayed teeth, repairing chipped teeth, closing gaps between the teeth and making teeth appear more even.
The dentist prepares the resin and applies it in layers to the tooth. A special curing light is used to harden each layer. Once the hardening process is complete, the dentist shapes the composite to fit your tooth. Then the composite is smoothed and polished to prevent staining and premature wear.
The Advantages of Composite Resin Fillings
Some benefits of tooth-colored resin fillings are:
- They look more aesthetically pleasing since they match your natural tooth color and appearance.
- They require less drilling, so not as much tooth structure needs to be removed.
- They harden in seconds instead of days like other materials.
- They bond to the tooth giving it greater strength, which helps prevent breaks.
- They can be repaired if damaged.
The Disadvantages of Composite Resin Fillings
Some drawbacks of these types of fillings are:
- They’re more labor intensive for your dentist to place on your tooth.
- You may experience some brief tooth sensitivity following the procedure.
- They tend to wear out sooner than metal fillings, especially if you have heavy wear from grinding and chewing.
- They may stain from frequent and/or prolonged exposure to coffee, tea, red wine and other foods with staining properties.
- They can degrade from recurrent and/or extended exposure to high alcohol content drinks.
- They’re more expensive than silver fillings.
- Your dental plan may only cover resin fillings in your visible teeth (the incisors, cuspids and bicuspids). Plus, your dental insurance company may require higher co-payments and/or additional costs for resin fillings.
If you’re wondering whether a composite resin filling might be the right choice for you, talk to the dentist at Danville Family Dentistry. He can explain the various filling options available and help you decide what’s best for your particular needs.