Composite resins are tooth-colored materials that can actually be applied to the remaining surfaces of teeth to replace lost tooth structure in such a way as to actually make them one, blending and exactly matching the physical characteristics and color of natural teeth, and actually strengthening them in the process. Most importantly, modern composites physically adhere by actually bonding to the two elements that teeth are composed of, dentin and enamel. Major advances have resulted from the study and understanding of how the crowns of teeth actually flex or give under biting force and how restorative materials can be used to the greatest effect in the way they interact. And, best yet, composites can be used to restore teeth directly — they are applied directly to the teeth in the dental office in a single appointment.
Composite resins have been advocated for decades as a means to conservatively restore minor, moderate, and even large defects in teeth caused by decay or trauma. Their indication is predicated on the need to preserve as much healthy tooth structure as possible while using these synthetic composite resin materials to completely replace and augment lost tooth structure by adhesive dentistry. The challenges involved in retaining such restorations have been resolved by bonding, the implementation of sound adhesive dental techniques,
Today’s composite resins allow restorations to replace moderate loss of tooth structure in such a way as to avoid further tooth removal.
Although 20 years ago it appeared that weaknesses in direct composite bonding involved the composite material itself, manufacturers have made vast improvements to the formulations of direct composites that have resulted in enhancements to their strength, aesthetics, and reliability.
Composite restorations generally are one-step “single-visit” procedures, carried out at the Dental and Facial Clinic by Dr Chad Hazouri. Direct composite resin restorations require technique and artistic skill to place them. They are commonly indicated for trauma to the front teeth in which portions of the enamel, or enamel and dentin of the teeth, are broken or chipped. They are most often used to restore decayed areas of the front teeth where they contact each other. They can be used to reshape teeth for closing small spaces and correcting other minor irregularities of tooth position. Composite resins are often used to repair trauma to the front teeth of younger individuals involved in contact or other sports where there is continuing risk of injury and until the person is older and the teeth more mature. In these situations, composites may have more limited longevity. In addition to wear, they may also discolor over time. When appropriate, more permanent restorations can be planned and fabricated to replace restorations that have aged and no longer appear aesthetically pleasing or have otherwise become defective.