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.
With 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 your existing teeth, and so are more aesthetically suited for use in front teeth or the more visible areas of the teeth.
Although highly durable and made to last many years, composite fillings--as with most dental restorations--are not always permanent and may someday require replacement.
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 homecare instructions at the conclusion of your treatment. Good oral hygiene practices, eating habits, and regular dental visits will extend the longevity of your new filling.