When treating a cavity, I will remove the decayed portion of your tooth and place a filling to restore your tooth back to its original shape. There are multiple options for the material to be used for a filling. The most common types of fillings are composite (white) or amalgam (silver) fillings. I do not place amalgam fillings in my office because amalgam fillings require the use of mercury which has associated health concerns.
A composite filling is also known as a tooth coloured filling, since the material used in the filling can be closely matched to the colour of your teeth. Composite fillings provide good durability for small to medium cavities, and the procedure typically involves removing less tooth structure than you would placing an amalgam filling. They are also particularly well suited for treating front or highly visible teeth because of their natural look.
When can a composite filling be used:
- To replace decayed tooth structure (ie. cavity)
- To restore chipped or broken teeth
- To eliminate spaces between teeth
- To cover sensitive or worn down areas of teeth
How its done
Typically, but not always I will place local anaesthetic (freezing) in the area where the filling is to be placed. Once the area is anesthetized I will remove the decayed tooth structure. A bonding agent is placed which allows the composite filling to be bonded to the remaining healthy tooth structure. After the composite filling has been placed it is cured (hardened) using a special high intensity blue light. Once this is complete, the filling is smoothed, polished and adjusted to fit with your bite.