How is a composite filling placed?
Composite fillings, or white fillings, are placed much like a traditional filling. To fix cavities with fillings, the tooth is usually anesthetized to ensure complete comfort throughout the procedure. The composite fillings is then applied in layers, using a curing light designed to harden the material after each application. After the layers of composite have been applied, it is shaped to fit the tooth. The composite is then polished to prevent staining and early wear.
What are the advantages of composites?
Traditional fillings are done using metals like amalgam, which are easily visible in the mouth, to fix cavities. With fillings made of composite, your restorations are more discrete since they are shaded to 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. Furthermore, 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.
Typically, less tooth structure has to be removed to accommodate composite fillings compared with amalgam fillings, lending to a more conservative approach towards tooth restoration. In addition, metal fillings tend to contract and expand due to temperature changes in the mouth and can lead to bacterial leakage around these fillings over time.