Dental composite resin fillings also referred to as tooth-colored fillings, are an alternative to metal fillings. Patients who have received dental composite resin filling have natural-looking teeth and only their dentist knows that they have fillings because no one else can see them at all.
Composite resins are a silicon dioxide-filled, tooth-colored, plastic mixture that can restore teeth to a healthy, natural white state. Composite resins offer several advantages over traditional silver or amalgam fillings:
- They are better refined than gold and amalgam– resulting in more accurate replication of a natural tooth’s function
- They are not made of metal– a blend can be created to tailor the shade of white to match the natural color of the dental patient’s teeth.
- The bond between the tooth and the composite resin is beneficial to the remaining tooth structure– it supports the remaining tooth structure, helping to prevent breakage and also helping to relieve temperature sensitivity.
- Medium to small dental composite resins can last from seven to ten years.
- With dental composite resins more of the original tooth is saved
Dental composite resins are actually glued into the teeth, strengthening the tooth’s structure and durability. An acid etching reaction with the dental composite resin and a tooth, results in a micromechanical bond, creating a strong adhesion. The acid-etch adhesion also prevents micro leakage, but eventually all white fillings will leak slightly. This results in minimal loss of healthy tooth, when compared to silver filling because there is no need for the creation of retentive features, which destroys healthy teeth. Another good feature of dental composite resin is that it creates an extremely high bond strength to dentin and enamel, which makes it a more reliable filling material.
There are, however, disadvantages to Dental Composite resins:
- They are technique-sensitive – if they are not created and placed with attention to detail and the correct placement is not verified, they can fail prematurely.
- The time it takes to place dental composite resins far exceeds that of amalgam fillings- it can take up to 50% longer to place a composite resin filling.
- They are more expensive than amalgam fillings.
- When placed in posterior teeth they last a shorter amount of time than amalgam fillings on average.
Created as an alternative to traditional metal dental fillings, composite resin fillings offer advantages and disadvantages when chosen over metal fillings. The decision ultimately comes down to what the best decision for the patient is and Dr. Radz will help in making this decision easy. For more information please contact Cosmetic Dentistry of Colorado today!