Composite restoration: a quick and easy guide

Do you need to restore structure to your teeth? Dr Colomar, one of the members of Moira Wong Orthodontics, is an expert on composite restoration who regularly performs the procedure. In this article, she shares her professional expertise to give you a quick and simple guide to composite restoration.

What is a composite restoration?

composite restoration is made up of acrylic, which is white/tooth coloured. Many people call a composite restoration a “filling”. However, a key difference is that a composite restoration can only be performed with white acrylic while a “filling” refers to restoring the teeth with any dental material.

When is composite restoration needed?

Composite restoration is used to restore tooth structure that is missing from teeth. Missing tooth structure can be caused by caries (tooth decay), dental trauma, enamel defects (some people are born with anomalies on tooth structure) tooth wear (from erosion, attrition or abrasion) or for aesthetic purposes.

Are composite restorations noticeable?

No, composite restorations are not noticeable if done properly with the correct shape and shade. Some dentists may fill the hole in a tooth and not take into account the shape of the teeth. However, if you follow the tooth shape anatomy and you choose the right shade (as we do at Moira Wong Orthodontics), giving good aesthetics to the tooth, the restoration will not be noticeable.

How does a dentist perform composite restoration?

Firstly, the tooth is isolated. Then, the surface being restored is etched and prepared with tooth adhesive. The composite material is layered in small increments and moulded to the required shape. After, the composite resin is polymerised with ultraviolet light to set and finally, the restoration is adjusted and polished.

What is the success rate of composite restoration?

Composite restoration has a good success rate with an annual failure rate that varies from 1 to 5 per cent. The major causes for failure in posterior teeth are caries (tooth decay) and fracture. With anterior teeth, aesthetic concerns are the main reasons leading to restoration failures. The failure rate is very low.

Can composite restorations be replaced multiple times?

Composite restorations can be replaced but ideally the less the better. Every time they are removed, the tooth suffers from the mechanical vibration and they are difficult to remove without damaging the peripheral healthy enamel and dentine (the hard tissue under the enamel that forms the majority of the tooth).

What should be avoided after having the composite restoration?

After the procedure, you can eat or drink straight away and there is no need for special precautions. After composite restoration, the recommendations for what to avoid are the same as general advice regarding teeth care, like to avoid biting nails or chewing items such as pen lids, which may chip the composite restoration.

Are you looking for the utmost quality dental care? Get in touch with Dr Moira Wong of Moira Wong Orthodontics to learn how her team (including Dr Colomar) can help you.