Composite dental fillings are tooth-colored to blend in with the remaining natural part of the tooth. The term composite refers to the actual filling material, which is a mixture of fine glass, or quartz filler in a resin medium. Composite fillings provide good durability and resistance in small-to-medium size restorations that can stand up to most normal daily wear and tear. This material does blend in beautifully with your enamel, making it especially ideal for cavities that affect the teeth visible when you smile.
Placing Your Composite Dental Fillings
Composite dental fillings are a straightforward procedure that takes only a single visit to complete. The decay is removed from the tooth and the tooth is cleaned and dried. An acid etch is used to create a rough texture, which helps to ensure a strong bond between the composite material and your tooth. The tooth is cleaned and dried a second time. The cavity is filled with the composite resin material and with the use of a special light to cure, or dry, it. Finally, the material is polished smooth.
Benefits of Composite Dental Fillings:
- Composite resin provides a near seamless fix, blending in closely to the color of your natural enamel
- There is no metal or mercury in composite resin
- More of your natural tooth structure is preserved
- Composite resin bonds with your natural tooth
- The material cures (hardens) faster than amalgam
- It can usually be replaced if damaged, loosened, or lost
The life expectancy of a white filling can depend greatly on where it is in your mouth and how heavily your teeth come together when you bite. Depending on diet, they may also be subject to stain and discoloration over time.