A composite (tooth colored) filling is used to repair a tooth that is affected by decay, cracks, fractures, etc. While the most common use for a composite filling is to seal up a cavity, the composite material can also be used to rebuild chipped or worn teeth.
Because composite fillings are white or tooth-colored, they can be closely matched to the color of your existing teeth. Therefore, they are very well suited for use in front teeth or the more visible areas of the back teeth. As with most dental restorations, composite fillings are not permanent and may someday have to be replaced. They are very durable and will last many years, giving you a long lasting, beautiful smile.
How are composite fillings performed?
Composite fillings are usually placed in one appointment. While the tooth is numb, your dentist will remove decay as necessary. The area will then be thoroughly cleaned and carefully prepared before the new composite filling is placed. If the decay was near the nerve of the tooth, a special medication will be applied for added protection; however, there is still a chance that tooth could become symptomatic and would require a root canal treatment. The composite filling will then be precisely placed, shaped, and polished, restoring your tooth to its original shape and function.
It is normal to experience sensitivity to hot and cold after composite fillings are first placed. However, this will subside shortly after your tooth acclimates to the new filling.