For some, the appearance of standard silver amalgam fillings is unattractive. They are noticeable when you smile and can cause your teeth to appear discolored.
If you need a filling but don’t want it to be visible, tooth-colored composite fillings are appealing alternatives. Composites can also be used for minor reshaping of chipped teeth or to fill small gaps between teeth to give you a more even, appealing smile.
What Is a Composite Filling?
Composite fillings are a mixture of resins, glass particles, and colorants, that impart a translucent appearance similar to tooth enamel. The composite is applied to the tooth in layers and hardened using a UV light. Unlike silver amalgam, your dentist can design your composite restoration to match the color of your natural teeth, giving you a seamless-looking repair.
Since the composite bonds directly to your tooth, these fillings require less removal of the healthy tooth, which leaves more remaining tooth structure intact. Composite fillings are also less susceptible to cracking and chipping due to temperature changes in your mouth than amalgam fillings.
How Is a Composite Filling Placed?
To place a composite filling, the dentist will numb the area if necessary and remove any decay. The remaining tooth structure is then etched to create a rough surface to which the composite can bond.
Our dentist will match the shade of your natural tooth and mix up a composite that is applied in layers with curing between each layer. Once built up, the filling will be shaped to contour to your bite and look natural and then polished smooth.
For areas needing larger repairs, we may use a semi-direct or indirect filling. This involves a composite that is either built up inside the mouth and then removed for curing, or a filling that is manufactured outside of the mouth and cured. This allows for stronger curing and a more sturdy composite filling. Once the composite material is cured, it is bonded to your natural tooth.
Why Choose Composite?
While composite fillings are usually more expensive than silver amalgam fillings, they offer a better aesthetic than metal fillings. They can also act more like a natural tooth, helping to avoid fractures due to uneven stress when biting.
Contact our office today to make an appointment or to ask your questions about tooth-colored composite fillings.