What are Composite Fillings?
A composite filling is a tooth-colored filling. It bonds to the tooth to support what remains of the existing tooth structure.
Why are Composite Fillings Used?
One function of composite fillings is to repair or restore teeth that are broken, decayed or malformed. Another function is cosmetic. The shades of the composite filling can be altered to create a color that is nearly identical to the actual tooth, and as such, they can cover stains and discolorations on teeth. They can also change the size and shape of the tooth. In particular, they can close gaps between teeth, repair chipped teeth and they can make teeth appear more even or straight.
- The tooth is usually numbed (but not always), and then reshaped.
- The filling is bonded or placed in the area to be restored.
- The dentist applies the composite in layers.
- A special blue light hardens each layer.
- The composite is shaped to fit the tooth.
- The composite is polished to prevent staining and early wear.