White fillings - Elmwood Park When you get a filling at your dentist’s office, the dentist first removes the decay from the damaged part of your tooth, and then replaces the missing tooth structure with another substance. Typically either amalgam fillings or composite fillings are used.
Amalgam fillings are the familiar silver-colored fillings. They are made from about half mercury and about half a mixture of other metals.
Composite fillings were developed later as an alternative to amalgam fillings, and have improved considerably in recent years. They are resin-based, made from ceramic and plastic compounds.
Both amalgam and composite fillings have their advantages, but among the reasons composite fillings are sometimes preferred is that their material can be closely matched to the color of the teeth—especially desirable for the more visible front teeth—and usually involve removing less of the tooth structure.
What Can a Composite Filling be Used for?
A composite filling can repair damage and make esthetic improvements when used on cavities, on chipped or broken teeth, or to decrease a gap between teeth.
How it’s Done
If anesthetic is to be used, the dentist begins by numbing the area where the filling is needed. Then the dentist carefully removes the decayed portions of the tooth. A substance that opens up the pores of the tooth is applied, which will enable a stronger bond between the tooth and the filling. Then the composite filling itself is applied, in thin layers. After it hardens, it will be polished and smoothed, and the dentist will make sure it is well-secured and fits your bite.