White Fillings (Composite Restorations)
Composite (white) restorations are the most versatile and effective way to aesthetically restore your smile. Composite materials are used to replace old unattractive fillings, change the color of your teeth, or reshape and recontour a less than ideal smile. Composite resin is a tooth-colored plastic mixture filled with glass (silicon dioxide). Composite or white fillings, have a slightly higher rate of wear than your traditional silver (amalgam) fillings. In addition, composite fillings are completely mercury-free; amalgam fillings are composed of 60% silver, 30% mercury and 10% copper.
Most procedures take as little as 10 to 15 minutes per tooth, depending on how complicated your particular treatment may be. At your actual bonding appointment, the dentist will use a mild etch to condition the surface of the tooth so the composite will adhere to it. Next, the dentist applies several layers of the bonding material onto the tooth, then uses a light source to set the material. The last step is shaping, smoothing, and polishing the surfaces. As with your natural teeth, cosmetically bonded teeth may chip or stain.