White Composite Fillings
Composite Restorations (also known as “Bonding”, “White Fillings”, or “Tooth-colored Fillings”)
Composite restorations, or white composite fillings as they are commonly called, are a type of dental treatment that involves bonding white filling material that matches your natural tooth color onto your tooth to restore its appearance, shape, and function as nature intended. White composite fillings can be used, among other things, for the following:
-Restoring your tooth following a new cavity or new decay around an old filling
-Replacing unsightly old silver fillings
-Closing the spaces or gaps between teeth
-Rebuilding broken or chipped teeth to their natural beauty
-To repair stained or discolored teeth to make them white again
How do white composite fillings work?
A composite filling is a material that comes in many different colors to match your tooth’s natural color. When your tooth is damaged due to one of the reasons mentioned above, your dentist eliminates the damage to your tooth. Once the damage is removed, the properly colored white filling material is bonded onto your tooth with a very strong adhesive material. The final result is a tooth that can maintain its function and beauty. Bonding of white fillings is typically completed in just one short visit.
How are white fillings different from silver/metal fillings?
Aside from the obvious difference in appearance, white composite fillings differ from the older technique of silver or metal fillings in a number of other ways. You may have seen or heard about the supposed “dangers” of silver amalgam fillings. Some have gone as far as to misleadingly refer to them as “mercury fillings” and advertise themselves as “mercury-free” dentists, playing on people’s fear of having toxic substances in their bodies. Needless to say, the alleged dangers of silver/amalgam/metal fillings are badly overblown.
At Easy Dental Care, we do not use silver/amalgam/metal fillings. This is not because they are unsafe, but because white composite fillings offer a number of advantages that we feel make them a superior treatment for our patients. The most obvious advantage is that they are esthetically superior—you can feel much more confident laughing out loud knowing that other people aren’t able to count how many fillings you have!
The other advantages to white composite fillings have less to do with esthetics and more to do with tooth function. Silver/amalgam/metal fillings are pressed or “packed” into the tooth with physical force. They therefore stay on your tooth with physical force. In order for these fillings to stay on your tooth, a significant-sized portion of your natural tooth structure has to be removed. This removal of tooth structure and “packing” of the metal results in a weakening of the tooth. Furthermore, if a metal filling fails due to decay or fracture of the tooth, the entire filling must be replaced, leading to possible complications that lead to the need for root canals and/or crowns.
White composite fillings are bonded onto your tooth with a very strong adhesive, so they are not retained with the same strong physical forces. As a result, small defects can be repaired with small white fillings and less of your natural tooth structure is lost in the process. Also, if your white composite filling fails for any reason, such as accidentally chewing on a hard object, your filling can often be repaired, rather than having to be fully replaced. Consequently, the strength of your tooth is maintained, and the life of your tooth can often be prolonged.
What do white composite fillings look like?
See the pictures here to see just how naturally beautiful your composite restorations can look!