Composite resin (or CR) has become increasingly commonly used for fillings due to advances in both techniques and materials, as well as patients’ expectations of natural-looking teeth.
CR is a resin-based material made up of a mixture of powdered glass and plastic and it offers a number of advantages over other dental materials.
The benefits of a CR filling include the following.
Composite comes in a number of different tooth colours, so the white filling can be matched to an individual’s specific tooth shade. The composite filling can therefore blend in with the natural tooth and be contoured to create a realistic end result.
Composites can also be used for resin veneers to improve aesthetics, repair chipped or broken teeth and restore broken-down teeth.
Of all the dental materials, CR is one of the most conservative as it allows for smaller filling preparation; only the disease-affected part of the tooth needs to be treated and this enables preservation of the natural tooth. As the white filling bonds to the tooth, this helps to support weaker areas that might have needed to be removed with the use of other materials.
Also, if there is a defect present, it is possible to repair this, rather than replace an entire filling, again due to CR’s bonding capabilities.
A composite filling can be placed in less time than other types of white filling and is always completed in one appointment. Once the material has been fully cured (set) with a special light, the white filling is ready to use straight away, subject to the wearing off of any local anaesthetic that has caused numbness.
Also by comparison with other types of white fillings, the cost of the procedure is very reasonable, providing a tooth-coloured restoration that will last for many years to come.
As with all dental procedures, once you have had a CR filling placed, it is important to make sure that you see your dentist every 6 to 12 months so that your filling can be monitored and overall dental health maintained.