A composite (white) filling is a tooth-colored resin and glass mixture used to restore decayed or broken teeth. By using enamel and dentin bonding techniques, white fillings restore teeth that have become damaged as a result of tooth decay or injury. White fillings are used as an alternative to amalgam (silver) fillings, which are aesthetically poor and contain mercury.
After removing plaque, tartar, decay and any existing filling, the treatment site is cleaned and then dried. To aid the bonding, the tooth surface is etched and coated with a gel and bonding solution. Once prepared, the white filling material is placed into the tooth cavity, or area to be filled, and then molded to match the tooth contours. A curing light is then used to harden the filling before it is trimmed and polished to look like a natural part of your tooth.
Inherent risks exist in all dental procedures, but the main concern with white fillings is their durability and potential shrinkage. However, new technology and dental procedures are resulting in stronger, longer-lasting and lower-shrinkage white fillings.
The benefits far outweigh such problems because white fillings:
Can restore not only teeth cavities caused by decay, but chipped, broken and worn teeth.
The color can be matched to your normal tooth color to appear natural, so it isn’t noticeable when you smile.
May be used as a veneer over stained or discolored teeth.
Preparation and treatment requires less time.
Can be combined with other dental treatments, such as inlays, crowns, and bridges.