Did you know that there are a variety of dental materials that your cosmetic dentist can use during your treatment? While the type of dental material used will depend on the type of restoration, one popular dental material used in cosmetic dentistry is known as composite resin. Composite resin is generally used to fabricate dental fillings and is so popular that many old amalgam fillings are removed and replaced with composite resin. The reason why composite resin is so popular is because it offers a number of benefits, including:
Although composite resin is generally used for dental fillings, it can also be used to fabricate other direct restorations. A direct restoration is any dental restoration that can be fabricated entirely inside the mouth during a single dental appointment. Composite resin can be used for direct restorations such as fillings, composite veneers, or to repair damaged teeth with cosmetic bonding.
Another benefit of composite resin restorations is that they offer a natural appearance due to the fact that composite resin can be customized in terms of shape and color. Depending on the desired results, composite resin can be matched to the exact color of your natural teeth or it can be applied a few shades lighter to create a whitening effect. Additionally, composite resin is soft when it is first applied, which means your cosmetic dentist can mold it as needed. The final product is a restoration that blends seamlessly with your natural teeth.
While dental drills are necessary for many treatments, many people don’t like them. When having a composite resin restoration placed, however, there is less drilling required. This is due to the fact that composite resin is able to establish a strong bond with the natural tooth structure, meaning that less preparation is needed. While most people focus on the fact that this means less drilling, it is important to realize that it also means more of your natural tooth structure is preserved.
Decreases Tooth Sensitivity
Tooth sensitivity can occur when your enamel is worn or damaged. It is characterized by a deep, sudden pain that occurs in response to eating or drinking things that are hot, cold, or sweet. Since composite resin acts as an insulator, it helps to protect your tooth and decrease the severity of tooth sensitivity. However, it is also important to note that it is normal to experience tooth sensitivity immediately after having a composite restoration placed. In most cases, this will fade as soon as the tooth has adapted.
Since composite resin is generally used for direct restorations, this means that there is no need for a dental lab and the restoration can be completed in a single dental appointment. To fabricate a composite restoration, the composite resin will be applied in layers, with one layer being hardened before placing the next layer. Your dentist will use a special curing light that hardens each layer in less than one minute. In most cases, around 3-4 layers are used to create the restoration. However, this can vary depending on the extent of the damage.
Dr. Gerard J. Lemongello Jr. graduated from the University of Florida College of Dentistry and has been in private practice since 1987. His focus is on cosmetic and comprehensive restorative rehabilitative dentistry. He is a member of the American Dental Association, Florida Dental Association and Academy of General Dentistry, and is an accredited member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.