Composite (tooth colored) fillings are mercury-free and are used to repair the natural appearance of a tooth affected by decay, cracks, fractures, etc. The affected area of the tooth will be removed and then filled with composite filling. With today’s technology, composite fillings are strong enough to withstand the stress required on posterior (back) teeth as well as anterior (front) teeth.
There are different types of filling materials available, most commonly composite and silver amalgam, each with their advantages and disadvantages and we will discuss the best options for your restorations. Because composite fillings can be closely matched to the color of your tooth, they are more aesthetically suited for most patients. As with most dental restorations, fillings are not permanent and may someday need to be replaced. However, they are very durable and will last many years.
How are composite fillings placed?
Fillings usually take one appointment to complete but more appointments may be needed if you have several fillings to complete. While the area is numb, Dr. Coello will remove the decay and the space will be thoroughly cleaned and prepped for the new filling. If the decay was close to the nerve, a special medication will be applied for protection of the nerve. Then, the filling material will be placed, cured, shaped and polished, restoring the tooth to it’s shape and function.
Are there any disadvantages with white fillings?
- It is not unusual to experience some sensitivity when composite fillings are first placed, however this will subside.
- The shade of the composite can change due to staining by tea, coffee, or other staining foods.
- The proper placement of a white filling requires the site to be kept completely isolated from saliva. On few patients this is difficult to do and in these cases, a silver amalgam filling may be recommended since this material does not require the same strict isolation of the tooth.