What Is A Composite Resin Filling?
Composite resins are tooth colored fillings (plastic mixture filled with glass — silicon dioxide). Introduced in the 1960s, dental composites were limited to the front teeth as they were not strong enough to withstand the pressure and wear generated by the back teeth. Since then, composites have significantly improved and can be successfully placed in the back teeth. Composites are not only used to restore decayed areas, but are also used for cosmetic improvements of the smile by changing the color of the teeth or reshaping disfigured teeth.
How is a composite placed?
Following preparation, Dr. Barry or his restorative assistant places the composite in layers, using a light specialized to harden each layer. When the process is finished, they will shape the composite to fit the tooth. The dentist then polishes the composite to prevent staining and early wear.
How long does it take to place a composite?
It takes Dr. Barry and Dr. Love or their restorative dentistry assistant about 10-20 minutes longer to place a composite than it does mercury/silver fillings. Placement time depends on the size and location of the cavity – the larger the size, the longer it will take.
How long will a composite last?
Studies have shown that composites last approximately 10 years, which is comparable to mercury/silver fillings except in very large restorations, where mercury/silver fillings last longer than composites. However, teeth with large fillings should be restored with something other than a filling anyway.