Creating A More Beautiful Smile

Pros And Cons Of Composite Resin Fillings, Crowns, And Bonds

Composite resin is a malleable dental material made of finely milled plastic and glass tinted a natural tooth color. The material is used in a variety of general and cosmetic dentistry restoration methods including dental fillings, dental crowns, and dental bonds. There are other materials available in each of these categories but there are some pros – and cons – of choosing composite resin compared to those materials.

What are some of the pros and cons of choosing composite resin for your fillings, crowns, or bonds?

Resin Fillings Pros and Cons

Composite resin is a popular choice for dental fillings on teeth that are visible when the patient is talking since the resin can be dyed to closely match the natural tooth. Others will likely have no idea you have a filling, which isn't the case with the obviously metal alternative of amalgam fillings.

The resin can be packed into the cavity hole tightly but accurately due to the malleability of the material. A chemical reaction takes place between the resin and the walls of the tooth that helps seal the edges. The resin is then allowed to dry in place to harden.

Resin is natural looking and more affordable than some options, but the resin also takes longer to apply due to the drying down time. Composite resin could also potentially degrade faster than a metal filling would, which could lead to you needing a filling replacement not too long from now. 

Resin Crowns Pros and Cons

Dental crowns are essentially hollowed-out artificial teeth that go over the entire natural tooth to cover up substantial damage or correct cosmetic issues. All-resin crowns are one of the options available when selecting a crown material. And the resin again has the advantage of having a natural looking color.

But the natural look and low price tag are the only real advantages to going with a composite resin dental crown. A crown takes on a lot more bite force than a filling since the crown covers the entire tooth. Resin isn't particularly durable under bite force and the crown could end up cracking.

A similarly tooth-colored but more durable alternative would be to go with a porcelain crown.

Resin Bonds Pros and Cons

Dental bonds are always made of composite resin so you don't have much of a choice if you want a bond. But there's a similar procedure called a veneer that's made out of porcelain.

Bonds involve the dentist applying the resin straight to the tooth, like is done during a filling, and then shaping the resin around the tooth to change the tooth's outward appearance. The resin is then hardened into place and will now serve as a sort of partial dental crown. Again, resin doesn't do great under bite force so a bond might only be the best choice if you're looking for a cheap temporary fix until you can afford veneers.

Veneers are made in the lab out of porcelain and bonded onto the front of the affected tooth. The material and bonding method mean that the veneer is a bit more stable and long-lasting than a dental bond in many cases.

For a local dentist, contact a doctor such as Hughes Thomas R.