Composite Resin (Tooth Coloured) Restorations
Composite resin is a plastic-based tooth coloured filling material that has been used in dentistry for about 40 years. These materials are constantly being improved, and their colour, strength, and bond to tooth has vastly improved in recent times.
Previously, dentists preferred to place amalgam (metal) fillings in back teeth due to their strength and predictability. Nowadays, composite resin is a popular alternative due to its natural appearance.
Composite resin is available in a wide range of colours and can be closely matched to the natural colour of your teeth. It is bonded onto the tooth using a series of strong adhesive agents. During placement, the resin has a soft putty-like consistency which can be sculpted and moulded. It is then hardened by a blue light which sets the filling to full strength within a matter of seconds.
Composite resin can be used to fill both front and back teeth. The term ‘Bonding’ is sometimes used when composite resin is placed to restore the surface of teeth – usually to correct defects such as chips, gaps, surface irregularity or discolouration.
Like any material, composite resin does have limitations and is generally not recommended for very large restorations. In instances where composite resin is not suitable, tooth coloured alternatives include porcelain veneers, ceramic inlays, onlays, and crowns.