What is a white filling? (Composite)
White fillings are composite resin (not to be confused with true porcelain) containing a mixture of acrylic plastics, quartz fillers and colorants.
What are the advantages of white fillings?
With today’s technology, you no longer have to suffer the embarrassment of unsightly silver/mercury fillings or metal margins of the past. State-of-the-art, tooth-colored resin materials are used to replace dark, looking amalgam fillings.
How are composite resin fillings placed?
Tooth colored composite fillings are chemically bonded to teeth. For this reason, the placement of white fillings does not always require numbing the area being restored. Numbing (anesthetizing) the area is often required if tooth decay has progressed beneath the enamel layer and into the underlying dentin layer which surrounds the nerve of the tooth. Once decay is removed, the tooth is cleaned and a primer is applied to the area being restored. The primer opens pores in the enamel and dentin. A bonding agent is then flowed into the open pores and cured. Curing prepares the bonding agent to adhere to the tooth colored filling material. The filling material is then placed inside the tooth and it is hardened by curing with a strong curing light. Last, shaping the tooth colored filling material to resemble the natural anatomy of your tooth. Once the white filling hardens, your bite will be checked to make sure your teeth fit together properly. Adjustments will be made if necessary followed by smoothing and polishing of your new filling.
How long do white fillings last?
Studies have found that white fillings typically last between five and seven years.