Most people have fillings of one sort or another but today, because we are much more conscious of our smile, we can choose a natural looking alternative – the composite or tooth-coloured filling.
A composite resin is a tooth-coloured plastic mixture filled with glass (silicon dioxide) first introduced in the 1960s. When placing white fillings the tooth and its surrounding area will be numb with a local anaesthetic, and the decay will be drilled from the tooth.
When the decay has been removed, the tooth will be filled. For tooth-coloured fillings, the material is placed into the hole in layers, with a special light being shone on each layer to speed up the setting process.
Composite fillings may take your dentist a little longer to complete. On posterior teeth they are considered to be a cosmetic treatment.
The life expectancy of your composite filling can depend on the depth of cavity and its position in the mouth; your dentist is best positioned to advise you. Large fillings are less suitable for composite but other options are available.