As well as providing an effective repair for tooth decay or damage, composite (or white) fillings are also a natural-looking alternative to more obvious amalgam fillings. This is because they are made from tooth-coloured resin, a mixture of plastic and glass that blends in beautifully with your teeth.
They support the structure of a damaged tooth, helping to prevent further breakage or sensitivity, and can be placed in the front or back teeth.
- They blend in beautifully with your natural teeth
- Modern materials make them a durable choice
- Less of the tooth needs to be removed before placement of the filling
- They can restore decayed, chipped, worn or broken teeth
- The area to be treated is numbed with a local anaesthetic and the decayed part of the tooth removed.
- A gel is applied to the tooth, creating tiny holes to allow the composite material to bond effectively.
- The acidic gel is washed away and the tooth dried.
- A priming agent is applied so the composite filling will form a strong bond.
- The colour matched shade of composite is then applied in layers and moulded to match the shape of the tooth.
- The resin is hardened with a special bright light and it is then polished to look like a natural part of the tooth.
Although not considered to be as long-lasting as amalgam fillings, composite fillings are a far more attractive option and are now produced from modern materials that offer improved durability, particularly in small cavities. How long they last will depend on the depth of the cavity to be filled and its position in the mouth.
To prevent decay forming around the composite filling, it is important to brush at least twice a day and see your dentist for regular check-ups.