Composite resin fillings are tooth coloured plastic materials, made of glass and resins that are used for both fillings and repairing the defects in the teeth. Because they are tooth coloured, they offer a good colour matching and they mimic the appearance of natural teeth.
Traditionally composite fillings were only applied to the visible teeth, however resins have changed over the years and new tooth coloured fillings are stronger and more durable than ever before. These fillings are now stable and reliable enough to be used back teeth as well, where the teeth are subjected to more biting force. Not only the modern variations are designed to match tooth colour and brightness exactly, but also they are created to bond to enamel more tightly.
Resin materials are more biocompatible than classic metal fillings and act more like our natural tooth structure, expanding with hot and cold liquids and foods in the same way our teeth do. This creates strong repairs, less stress on our teeth and less chance of cracks or breaks occurring.
A composite/resin dental filling should last and be effective for at least 5 to 10 years on average. While they are relatively strong and durable they will not withstand the biting forces as much as our natural teeth. It is important to avoid habits such as opening food packages with your teeth, biting your fingernails or chewing ice cubes or similar substances. Certain foods and drinks like coffee, tea, tobacco products can also stain the resin used for bonding, so it is better to avoid these substances or at least brush regularly and see your dentist for regular cleanings for every six months.
Ian, the Mosman dentist. Dentist Mosman.