Composite resin fillings are also called plastic or white fillings. These fillings are designed for esthetic dental restorations and are designed to resemble your natural tooth. A composite is made up of glass or quartz filler mixed with a resin filler. This is what makes a white filling. Although composite fillings are very popular today, they have been around since the 1960’s, but they were not the same material and not very strong.
Modern dentistry provides many types of composite restorations. The most deciding factor is their strength and aesthetic values. The advent of composite resins has greatly increased the aesthetic demand on dentists and the patient.
The reasons for placing composite fillings are generally for chipped, cracked, decayed or worn teeth. In addition, composite fillings can also be placed to close gaps in front teeth, to increase the aesthetic profile of a tooth, and to hide unsightly spots on teeth.
Although composite fillings can be placed in one appointment, they are more complicated and more delicate to place than an amalgam (silver) filling. After a tooth is frozen, the decayed or affected area is removed. The tooth is then conditioned to have a composite resin placed. Once prepared, the composite resin is placed in layers on the tooth and each layer is cured with a light which hardens the filling. Once hard, the filling is shaped and polished to ensure it is aesthetically and functionally acceptable.
The most common concern with white fillings is sensitivity and eventual staining or chipping. If a patient maintains good oral hygiene, these concerns are minimized.