Composite fillings, often referred to as "white fillings," are used to repair broken, chipped and worn teeth or small cavities. According to the American Dental Association, composite fillings are a mixture of glass or quartz filler in a resin medium that produces a tooth-colored filling. Depending on the extent of the decay, a filling may not be enough, therefore an inlay or crown may be needed.
Dental composite resins are types of synthetic resins which are used in dentistry as a restorative material or adhesive. Synthetic resins evolved as restorative materials since they are insoluble, aesthetically pleasing, insensitive to dehydration and inexpensive. They are also easily manipulated.
In Dr. Tsang's office, the material used in a composite filling is colored to match the patient's natural teeth. Composite fillings must be kept clean and completely dry during the procedure and are then bonded in place with a high-intensity light, thereby causing the filling to "stick" to the tooth for improved strength. Most composite fillings also have fluoride incorporated into the material, which is released into the mouth. This gives the tooth added protection against decay. Composite fillings look and feel better on the tooth, require less tooth preparation by the dentist, and generally last longer than amalgam fillings. Over time, composite fillings are subject to staining and discoloration.
Advantages of White Fillings:
- Composite fillings restore most of the original strength of the tooth since they are bonded to the tooth. Silver fillings are not bonded to the tooth so it weakens, making the tooth more susceptible to breaking.
- Composite fillings restore the natural appearance of the tooth
- Teeth restored with white fillings are less sensitive to hot and cold temperatures than teeth restored with amalgam
- Composite fillings are mercury-free
- Composites require less removal of the tooth structure. Especially with new cavities, the size of the hole made for the filling can be much smaller with composites
Visit our office, located in Pinole, California, for more information about composite fillings