Need to have a cavity filled? Before you book your appointment, you may want to verify that your dentist offers composite (or white) fillings. Composite resin is the latest and most preferred option in filling material. Unlike its past amalgam (silver filling) counterpart, white fillings are natural-looking and minimally-invasive restorations that are bonded directly to the tooth surface. This makes composite fillings an excellent solution for your front teeth as well as your back teeth.
If decay has destroyed a small area of your tooth enamel, this tiny hole must be patched with a filling material. During a composite filling procedure, only the decayed portion of the tooth must be removed, and more of the tooth’s healthy enamel is preserved compared to the drilling required during an amalgam filling placement. After the decayed area has been removed, the composite filling is placed in layers and hardened with a special light. Your dentist will then smooth and polish the area for optimal aesthetics and future protection. Composite resin is a tooth-colored plastic and glass mixture, which is not only durable, but also highly customizable. In fact, composite resin can be used cosmetically to alter the color or shape of a tooth.
In the following three categories, composite fillings pass the test.
Aesthetics: This is a leading advantage of composite resin, and it stands in stark contrast to the flashy silver of amalgam. White fillings look more natural and should be indistinguishable from the rest of your teeth if performed by a skilled cosmetic dentist.
Strength: Composite resin is bonded directly to the porous surface of your tooth, instead of being “wedged in” like a silver filling. This not only patches the cavity but it also provides valued strength to the tooth for future protection and durability.
Safety: With tooth-colored fillings, patients can eliminate the worry of mercury. Amalgam does contain a small amount of mercury and this type of filling has been known to crack and leak over time. While there are varying opinions surrounding the safety of mercury in amalgam fillings, many patients prefer to eliminate the potential risk all together by choosing composite instead.
Whether you are filling a cavity or correcting a minor imperfection, composite resin is a superior material that offers significant advantages for your current and future smile. At Alora Dentistry, we are proud to give patients the most effective restorations while respecting their aesthetic and safety concerns.