A composite filling is a tooth-colored plastic and glass mixture that is used to restore decayed teeth. Composites can also be used to improve the aesthetics of a smile by changing the color of the teeth or reshaping a disfigured tooth.
How is a composite filling placed?
Composite fillings are placed much like a traditional filling. The tooth is first numbed to ensure complete comfort throughout the procedure. The composite is then applied in layers, using a light designed to harden the material after each application. After the layers of composite have been applied, the composite is then shaped to fit the tooth. The composite is then polished to prevent staining and early wear.
What are the advantages of composites?
Traditional composites are done using metals like silver or gold which are easily visible in the mouth. Composite fillings are more discrete since they more closely match the color of the tooth. This is especially important when front teeth are being restored. Unlike metal fillings, the composite material actually chemically bonds to the tooth structure, which provides further support to the tooth. And composites have increased versatility as they can be used not only as a filling for decay but also to repair chipped, broken, or worn teeth.