The need for dental fillings comes to most people at some point in their lives. Traditional metal fillings are unsightly, and they may even pose health and environmental hazards. While these fillings, called amalgam fillings, have been proven safe and have been used for years, they contain mercury, and many people prefer fillings without mercury. Natural or white composite fillings are not only mercury-free, but they look much better than silver fillings.
Natural tooth-colored or white fillings, also called composite fillings, are made of resin that is layered into cavities to fill them. With metal fillings, more of the tooth has to be removed before the filling is placed, and some of it is a perfectly healthy tooth.
Amalgam fillings also often fall out and can cause pain due to a metal-on-metal effect when two fillings touch each other. Composite fillings are securely bonded to your teeth and don’t contain any metal to cause pain.
Composite fillings are also called white fillings and can be matched to your teeth so the fillings will be virtually invisible. While no filling lasts forever, white fillings may last longer on average than metal fillings.
The procedure of getting composite fillings is similar to the procedure of getting amalgam fillings. First, our dentist will remove the decayed part of the tooth to be filled and clean it thoroughly. The tooth must be isolated to keep moisture and bacteria away. A bonding agent is applied, the resin is inserted and condensed into the cavity filling all crevices, and then it is cured with light, setting the filling into place.
Care of composite fillings involves daily brushing and flossing. Since the fillings are the same color as your natural teeth you may be susceptible to mild staining from some foods, coffee or tobacco. Regular dental cleanings will help to ensure you keep your smile looking its best and brightest!