Composite Fillings (Tooth-colored fillings)
If a tooth has a cavity or a small chip, the dentist may elect to use a composite material to restore the tooth to its full form and function. A composite (also known as a resin) filling is made of a special type of liquid, specialized glass material, and a light sensitive compound. When composite is first applied to the tooth, it comes out soft and pliable. Once exposed to a high intensity UV light, the material hardens to a highly durable plastic like material.
Tooth-colored fillings are bonded with a special soothing adhesive to the tooth. Because these fillings are directly adhered to the tooth’s enamel and dentin, often times less tooth needs to be removed and worked on (compared to the older amalgam/silver fillings). Composites can also be bonded directly on top of one another if needed for repair, which means less tooth removal and more conservative dentistry.
Composite resins come in different shades/colors that can very closely match that of your teeth. The result is these fillings can look and feel very natural; sometimes you can’t even tell your tooth has been filled!
Recent advances in technology has even enabled incorporating a material that contains fluoride together with the composite. This combination further enhances the ability to fight decay and cavities.
Your dentist can discuss with you the type of filling that is best in your situation.