Renewing Your Smile’s Health & Strength
If you’re self-conscious about your smile because of decayed, disfigured, or discolored teeth, you may be a good candidate for composite resins. A composite resin is simply a silicon dioxide-filled tooth-colored plastic mixture that our dentists can use to restore teeth to an attractive, healthy state. We highly recommend composite resins as an healthier looking, stronger alternative to silver amalgam (heavy metal) fillings.
Easy & Pleasing
Generally, resin placement requires four simple steps: preparation, layering, shaping, and polishing. First, we prepare the teeth to be filled: drilling out any decayed area and cleaning all surfaces with a specialized cleaning agent. Next, he layers the composite onto the teeth, hardening each layer with a special light. When the layering process is finished, he works with the composite, shaping it to fit the tooth to match your natural dentition. He then polishes it to prevent staining and early wear. Depending on the size of the filling and location of the composite, this placement process may require 10 to 20 minutes longer than what’s needed for a traditional silver filling.
Coloration, Insulation & Duration
Composite resins represent several advantages to the patient compared with traditional silver fillings. First, our dentists are experienced, meticulous artisans, able to blend composite shades and shapes so as to match the original teeth nearly perfectly. Second, the tooth-composite bond actually serves to support to the remaining tooth structure, preventing breakage and providing insulation against temperature changes. Finally, average- and small-sized composites have demonstrated approximately the same long duration as that of silver fillings–seven to ten years.
Considerations & Costs
Every now and then, patients notice a bit of temporary post-placement sensitivity after receiving their composite(s). Also, patients who are habitual coffee or tea drinkers, or those who eat staining-type foods may want to request that we protect the composite with a clear plastic coating. Finally, it’s wise to consider the cost and investment involved with receiving composites. Composites usually cost around one-and-a-half to two times the price of a traditional silver filling, with insurance typically covering up to the price of the silver filling and the patient paying the difference. But in the long run, the health and strength of your smile should prove worth the investment. As time goes on, even more coverage may be available as composites improve and statistics are compiled in their favor.