Front teeth repairs come in all shapes, sizes and materials.
Composite resins, or tooth-colored fillings, provide good durability and resistance to fracture in small- to mid-size fillings that need to withstand moderate pressure from the constant stress of chewing. They can be used on either front or back teeth. They are a good choice for people who prefer that their fillings look more natural.
Repairing The Big Break
When a patient comes in with such a large break in a front tooth, the majority of the time a crown is the best treatment. But if we need to get the patient by for a period we can use composite tooth colored fillings to improve the aesthetics. Here is a repair we did of a larger break.
Fixing Small Chips
Many patients have chips on their front teeth from either grinding, using their teeth as tools (!) or just accidental chips. Composite tooth colored fillings allows us to get a great aesthetic result with very conservative treatment. No need for porcelain veneers – just tooth bonding that will last, as long as the source of the chips is also addressed. Most of the time we can fix simple chips without anesthesia.
For front teeth repairs, it generally takes longer to place a composite filling than it does for a metal filling. That’s because composite fillings require the tooth be kept clean and dry while the cavity or damage is being filled. Tooth-colored fillings are now used more often than amalgam or gold fillings, probably due to cosmetics. In a society focused on a white, bright smile, people tend to want fillings that blend with the natural color of their teeth. And for front teeth, it should be the only option. Ultimately, the best dental filling is no dental filling! Prevention is the best medicine.
Extending Its Wear
Composite bonding won’t last as long as other front teeth repairs like crowns and veneers, but you should be able to wear them for up to 10 years successfully. Nonetheless, this means taking proper care of your teeth by avoiding hard candy, ice cubes and similar substances that can crack the composite material. Another factor that plays a part in determining the life of the bond is the nature of the area that was bonded; keep in mind the composite resin isn’t nearly as strong as your natural enamel, and an imperfect bite can limit its life – especially if you grind your teeth when you sleep.
When You Leave the Dentist
Because a bond doesn’t provide the same strength as real teeth, it’s important to avoid habits such as opening food packaging with your teeth, chewing pen caps and biting your fingernails. Certain substances can also stain the resin used in bonding; coffee, tea and tobacco products are three of the biggest culprits. With this in mind, avoid food and drinks of that nature for the first two days after a bonding procedure. Develop careful dietary habits, brush regularly, and be sure to schedule regular cleanings every six months.