Bonding is a popular method of enhancing the aesthetics of your smile. Bonding can be used to correct cracks or gaps in teeth, as a filling after a cavity has been removed, or to cover up stains or discolored teeth. These bonded tooth-colored fillings, designed to match the color of your teeth, are called composites. Composites are a mixture of finely ground glass or quartz filler in a resin base that provide good durability and resistance to fracture in small to mid-size restorations that need to endure under moderate chewing pressure. They are generally used on either front or back teeth. In parts of some teeth where the chewing pressure is high, a composite may be less resistant to wear or fracture than a metal (silver or gold) filling.
When a composite is placed, the tooth is first prepared to remove any decay or other defect. The composite material is then molded and sculpted over an adhesive gel that is placed on the tooth. After the resin has been applied an, LED light is used to harden the resin, which is then shaped and polished to give you a fresh, new smile.
Composites are “bonded” or adhered in a cavity. This can allow your dentist to make a more conservative repair to your tooth, meaning less tooth structure is removed when the dentist prepares the tooth for a composite than for an amalgam. This may result in a smaller filling than that of an amalgam (silver) filling.
It generally takes longer to place a composite filling than it does for a metal filling. That’s because composite fillings are more technique-sensitive and require the tooth be kept drier while the cavity is being filled. Composite fillings are subject to staining over time.
Bonded composites are a safe, affordable and attractive solution for many dental problems.