What is a Dental Composite?

Dentists use tooth-colored composites (white or natural-looking materials) that they have in their offices to fill cavities, repair chips or cracks, close gaps between your teeth and build up the worn-down edges of teeth. Dentists place the composites in or on the teeth where needed.

Because direct composite bonding involves the precise placement of restorative material by the dentist, the direct composite bonding procedure usually is completed in one dental visit. More complicated or extensive treatments may require additional visits. However, there is usually no need for temporaries or waiting days or weeks for laboratory restorations.

The same composite materials also may be directly applied and sculpted to the surfaces of teeth that show most prominently when you smile, for minimally invasive smile makeovers. While dentists call them direct composite veneers, many people just refer to them generically as “bonding.” Composite bonding usually is an ideal and less expensive solution for people with chips, gaps between the teeth, staining and discoloration, slight crookedness and misshapen teeth.

Although direct composite veneers typically require minimal preparations, no mold-taking and no temporaries, the artistic skill and precision of the dentist you choose will determine the exact manner in which your direct composite veneers are created. For example, some dentists use putty stents based on an impression of the patient’s teeth and a model of their desired smile to guide them when placing the composite. This helps ensure a satisfactory result.

Typically these steps will be involved when doing a composite:

  • Your dentist then will place a putty-like composite resin in stages on the natural surface of the tooth, then shape and sculpt it.
  • A high intensity curing light will be used to harden that layer of composite, and the previous step will be repeated, then cured, until the filling or direct composite veneer has reached its final shape.
  • Your dentist also will create an appropriate finish to ensure that the bonded resin does not dislodge or cause tooth sensitivity.

If you have a chipped tooth, gap, or any other cosmetic teeth issues, a dental composite may be for you. Come visit Valley Dental today for an evaluation – let’s get you on the right track to a better smile!

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