A composite resin filling or white filling is commonly known as a kind of a dental filling used as an alternative for amalgam (metal filling). It is used to fill in cavities or space between the teeth.
Where metal filling has tremendous advantages, the main disadvantage is that it permanently destroys the tooth's look. Anyone who has ever had a metal filling can relate to how embarrassing it can be to laugh openly in public or eat in front of somebody.
This disadvantage of amalgam filling made way for composite resin filling that was introduced somewhere around the 1960s. The white filling functions as a metal filling with an added advantage that it looks exactly like the original tooth.
How is composite resin filling made?
Composite resin filling is a mixture of glass or quartz and resin. Due to the wax, the combination has the same color as the natural tooth. However, sometimes a dentist might add extra color in the mixture if the patient has yellow teeth. A dentist must always make sure that the composite resin mixture accurately matches the color of the patient's teeth.
How is a composite resin filling placed?
A dentist places the composite filling in the following fashion:
- First, cotton is placed next to the tooth to absorb excessive saliva. This is done to keep the tooth dry. To make sure that the tooth is completely dry, a salivary pump is also placed beneath the tooth.
- A drill or air abrasion removes the infected part of the tooth.
- After cleansing the tooth, the dentist fills the cavity with the composite resin mixture.
- A special blue light is placed on it to harden each layer and bind the mixture to the tooth.
- Once the mixture is hardened, it is shaped to resemble the real tooth.
Advantages of composite resin filling:
Here are some of the benefits of composite resin filling:
- The main reason why the composite filling is preferred over amalgam filling is that it looks like the original tooth.
- It hides the fact that you ever had any cavity
- The composite acts as an insulator and protects the tooth against temperature changes
- It can easily withstand pressure due to chewing
- Composite supports the tooth structure
- It prevents the tooth from further decay
Disadvantages of composite resin filling:
- Not as durable as amalgam fillings are
- Not very long-lasting and have to be replaced after some years
- Prone to staining
- Can cost more than amalgam fillings
- Patients often go through post operatic sensitivity