Composite restorations, which are also know as resin, are "metal free" and come in shades to closely match the existing teeth. Composites are used to restore decayed teeth and also used to improve the overall smile by changing the color of the teeth as well as reshaping teeth that may have become disfigured through wear, breakage, or development. These fillings are considered to be synthetic and are most effective for use on small cavities instead of using the traditional amalgam which are prone to come out. Composite restorations are easy to manipulate in placement, reasonably inexpensive to the patient, and have a similar longevity to amalgam, but a far superior appearance.
Composite restorations have many advantages over the traditional use of amalgam, which most patients consider to be "metal fillings". As stated above one of the most important advantages is the overall appearance of the restoration, which has the ability to closely match the shade of the existing tooth. Another advantage is in the preparation of the restoration. With composite less healthy tooth structure needs to be removed in order to place the filling. During the preparation and placement, the composite materials have a better ability to bond to the tooth structure, are easy to manipulate, and have a greater ability to be repaired. Another advantage with these restorations is that they are more versatile when repairing chipped, worn, or broken teeth. The use of composite resin materials reduces the risk of mercury exposure and they do not corrode like the traditional amalgam fillings may.
Patients may notice that composite filling appointments can take a little longer and some dental insurance companies may not offer coverage for this type of restoration.