In the past, traditional dentistry used fillings such as gold and amalgam because of the strength and durability of these materials.
Today, more patients prefer white fillings because they want their teeth to look more natural. White fillings, also called composite fillings, are made from tooth-colored materials that restore the natural appearance of a decayed or previously filled tooth. Because they blend well with tooth enamel and don’t look like fillings, Dr. Farahmand may recommend them, especially if the teeth to be restored are near the front of the mouth.
A composite filling usually requires only one visit, during which the tooth is prepared and restored. An advantage of composite fillings, as compared with other dental restorations, is that they require less of the healthy part of a tooth to be removed to hold the filling in place. This is due to composite materials’ ability to bond to teeth adhesively. The doctor carefully applies an adhesive followed by several thin layers of the tooth-colored composite. Once the filling is in place, it is chemically hardened, or cured, for less than a minute using a special light.
White fillings, like other dental materials, may require periodic replacement. If the edge of the filling eventually pulls away from the tooth, bacteria can get between the filling and the enamel and eventually may cause decay. Tooth decay over time may develop elsewhere on the tooth, so it’s important to set up regular dental checkups so any problems can be detected early.
To decide what type of filling is right for you, talk to Dr. Farahmand, who will discuss the various options and advise you on what he thinks is the best alternative.