A composite (tooth-colored) filling is used to repair a tooth that has been affected by decay, cracks, fractures, or other trauma. The decayed or affected portion of the tooth will be removed and then filled with a composite filling.
There are many types of filling materials available, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. You and your dentist can discuss the best options for restoring your teeth. Composite fillings, along with silver amalgam fillings, are the most widely used today. Because composite fillings are tooth-colored, they can be closely matched to the color of existing teeth and so are more aesthetically suited for use in the front or other visible areas of the teeth.
Composite fillings are very durable and will last many years, giving you a long-lasting, beautiful smile. But as with most dental restorations, composite fillings are not permanent; they may someday have to be replaced.
Reasons for composite fillings
How composite fillings are placed
Composite fillings are usually placed in one appointment. While the tooth is numb, your dentist will remove decay as necessary. The space will then be thoroughly cleaned and carefully prepared before the new filling is placed. If the decay was near the nerve of the tooth, a special medication will be applied for added protection. The composite filling will then be precisely placed, shaped, and polished, restoring your tooth to its original shape and function.
It is normal to experience sensitivity to hot and cold when composite fillings are first placed; however, this will subside shortly after your tooth acclimates to the new filling.
You will be given instructions on caring for your new fillings at the conclusion of your treatment. Good oral hygiene practices, eating habits, and regular dental visits will help to preserve your new fillings.