A composite filling is a tooth-colored resin and glass mixture used to restore decayed teeth. Composites are also used for cosmetic improvements of the smile by changing the color of the teeth or reshaping disfigured teeth. Dr. Basil can deliver this service in her West Hartford dental office and her New Britain dental office.
Following preparation, the dentist places the composite in layers, typically using a light specialized to harden each layer. When the process is finished, Dr. Basil will shape the composite to fit the tooth. Dr. Basil then polishes the composite to prevent staining and early wear.
What are the advantages of composites?
Aesthetics are the main advantage of composites, since dentists can blend shades to create a color nearly identical to that of the actual tooth. Composites bond to the tooth to support the remaining tooth structure, which helps to prevent breakage and insulate the tooth from excessive temperature changes. Many patients wish to replace older, silver amalgam fillings with tooth-colored composite fillings for both aesthetic purposes, and the individual concerns they have for the mercury content of the silver fillings. While we don't believe the silver fillings pose a significant health risk, we do believe tooth-colored fillings are much more natural looking.
What are the disadvantages?
After receiving a composite, a patient may experience postoperative sensitivity. Also, the shade of the composite can change slightly if the patient drinks tea, coffee or other staining foods. Dr. Basil can put a clear plastic coating over the composite to prevent the color from changing if a patient is particularly concerned about tooth color. Composites tend to wear out sooner than silver fillings in larger cavities, although they hold up as well in small cavities.