Direct Composite Restorations

What are Direct Composite Restorations?

Direct composite resin fillings, also referred to as tooth coloured fillings, are an alternative to metal fillings. Patients who have received direct composite resin fillings have natural looking teeth and only their dentist will know about the fillings – no one else can see them at all!

Composite resins are a silicon dioxide-filled, tooth coloured, plastic mixture that can restore teeth to a healthy, natural white state.

Advantages of Direct Composite Restorations

Composite resins offer several advantages over traditional silver, or amalgam fillings:

  • They are better refined than gold and amalgam – resulting in more accurate replication of a natural tooth’s function.
  • They are not made of metal – a blend can be created to tailor the shade of white to match the natural colour of the dental patient’s teeth.
  • The bond between the tooth and the composite resin is beneficial to the remaining tooth structure – it supports the remaining tooth structure, helping to prevent breakage and relieving temperature sensitivity.
  • Medium to small dental composite resins can last at least 10 years.
  • More of the original tooth is saved.

Disadvantages of Direct Composite Restorations

There are however, disadvantages to dental composite resins:

  • They are technique sensitive – if they are not created and placed with attention to detail and the correct placement is not verified, they can fail prematurely.
  • The time it takes to place dental composite resins far exceeds that of amalgam fillings – it can take up to 50% longer to place a composite resin filling.
  • They are more expensive than amalgam fillings.
  • When placed in posterior teeth they last a shorter amount of time on average than amalgam fillings.