Also known as composite fillings, white fillings are a plastic
material designed to build up and match the colour of your teeth.
They can restore a decayed tooth or repair a defect. Although they
are often used on the front teeth where a natural appearance is
important, they may also be used on a back tooth when the
restoration is small or may be visible. As a general rule they are
less durable than metal or porcelain dental work, but are often an
excellent solution where the amount of tooth being replaced is
How are white fillings done?
Like silver fillings, composites can be prepared and placed in
one visit. After the decayed portion of the tooth is removed, your
cosmetic dentist will use a very mild acid solution to "etch" the
tooth surface, cleaning it for the next step. A bonding agent is
brushed onto the prepared tooth, followed by several thin layers of
the tooth-colored composite. Once the composite filling is placed,
the material is chemically hardened, or cured, with a special
light, and polished.
There are many reasons why most dental patients choose white
fillings over metal fillings. The mercury in amalgam fillings is
sometimes viewed as potentially toxic, and many patients feel that
the white composite fillings represent a more advanced technology.
Composite fillings are also less likely to contribute to tooth
fracture than their metal counterparts. However, by far the most
common reason for choosing white fillings over silver fillings is
aesthetic – white fillings simply look more like teeth.