Composite is a general term for a range of synthetic resins used in cosmetic dentistry. They are produced by many manufacturers and the materials themselves are developing all the time to offer improved durability and biological compatibility.
As well as being used in tooth coloured fillings, composites have properties that lend them to other key treatments. Problem teeth that are discoloured, cracked or misshapen can all be treated using composite bonding, a technique that involves applying composite resin of the correct shade to your teeth before hardening it with a UV light.
Composite bonding offers an alternative to veneers and treatment time can be comparatively quick — often within 30 to 60 minutes in one visit. Composite bonding lends itself particularly well to relatively small corrections such as resurfacing a discoloured tooth or repairing a chipped tooth. In these instances dental veneers would also be an excellent choice but composite bonding is a good mini smile makeover option which is quicker, less invasive and more cost effective.
Bonding also does not require as much reduction in the enamel of your tooth as is needed to make room for a porcelain veneer. Where composite bonding does lose ground to porcelain veneers is in durability (composites typically last around a third as long as porcelain) and the fact that composites do not have the stain resistant properties of porcelain. Composites are also less biologically compatible with your mouth and gums and may cause irritation in some patients.
Composite bonding can be used for more advanced smile makeovers in the same way as veneers and for some patients the combination of quicker and more cost effective treatment is right for them. In cases where, for instance, composites are used to remodel the front teeth, the effect is likely to last around three years, although being careful about what you eat and drink can extend this timeframe. Our principal dentist Oberah will advise you on how best to care for your composites and which foods and drinks to avoid.