What are composite resin fillings?
Most of us have had amalgam fillings (silver) or gold filling restorations. Some amalgam fillings were what we have called mercury fillings, as some amalgam fillings contained mercury. Metal fillings were effective, but very conspicuous and tended to blacken in color over time.
Composite resin dental fillings were created as an alternative to traditional metal dental fillings. Tooth fillings colored to look like a natural tooth are known as Composite Resin Dental Fillings, are made of a plastic dental resin. Composite Resin Dental Fillings are strong, durable, and make for a very natural looking smile. Many dental insurance plans cover their use.
Who is a candidate for composite resin fillings?
If you have a cavity in a tooth, broken fillings, mercury fillings, or amalgam fillings, this type of dental filling is well worth discussing with your dentist. Mercury fillings or amalgam fillings can easily be removed and replaced with far more attractive colored fillings. These fillings actually strengthen your tooth beyond the level it had with the amalgam fillings.
Composite resins may also be used to enhance the appearance of any tooth, which is a tooth bonding procedure. The composite resin will strengthen and enhance the natural tooth structure as it does with use as a dental filling. (You can read more about a related procedure, tooth bonding, here.)
The composite of composite resin fillings bonds to further support the remaining tooth structure, which helps prevent breakage and damage to your tooth. They certainly look better, and are color blended to match your natural tooth color. These fillings are often used to improve the appearance of misshapen, chipped or discolored teeth.
Composite resin fillings last about six to twelve years or more, and the procedure usually takes just one visit to your dentist. There is very little sensitivity to hot or cold items often experienced with amalgam fillings. The dentist won't need to drill as much of the tooth structure as with amalgam fillings.