Composite CrownsDental composite is a synthetic resin — a silicon dioxide mixture filled with tooth colored plastic material — usually used for tooth-colored fillings, but it can also be used to make relatively strong crowns.  Currently, the most commonly used resin in crowns and dentures is acrylic polymer or of Polymethyl Methacrylate.  The process involves curing it and processing it into blocks outside of the mouth and then milling it to fit using CAD/CAM techniques like CEREC.  These blocks are cured for longer times and curing shrinkage can be handled in a better way.  As a result, they are less prone to shrinkage stress and marginal gaps, and have higher levels and depths of cure than direct composites in dental fillings.

While dental composite is the material least often used for a crown restoration, for patients with extreme metal sensitivities, allergy to porcelain bonding techniques, or who are unable to tolerate full porcelain, this can be a good alternative.  Of all dental crowns, composite has the least strength and durability, so it does need to be replaced more often.

The Benefits of Dental Composite

  • Softer than porcelain and less reactive than gold or other metals
  • Bonding techniques are less sensitive than full porcelain bonding
  • Free of metal
  • Precise shading options and a natural look
  • No silver metal margin that is visible on some types of cosmetic crowns
  • Protects the remaining part of the tooth from breakage and temperature changes
  • Good for use as long-term temporaries or as an interim option for patients with a high decay rate
  • Usually less expensive than crowns made from gold, porcelain, or zirconia
  • Gives a smile that looks natural and feels smooth

Composite Strip Crowns

A common condition in pediatric dental care is decay, which can significantly affect the child’s front teeth, and then a good alternative is a strip crown – a composite resin material made from a mixture of plastic and glass powder, that can be color matched to adjacent teeth.  This is the most economical and esthetic way to restore multiple front teeth.

This is a popular method to restore primary front teeth in children, because it provides superior aesthetics when compared to other treatments.  The time required for placement is similar to placement of a stainless-steel crown, and less than veneered and zirconia crowns.  They are small clear plastic tooth-shaped molds that are filled with composite material in the dental office and pressed onto the prepared tooth or teeth.  Then a curing light is used to harden the composite, after which the mold is peeled away and the composite is polished.

If you are interested in composite crowns in Costa Rica, fill out the “Find a Dentist” form on this page.  One of our patient advocates will reply to your needs.