Until recently, dentists filled and sealed cavities exclusively using a silver amalgam. Modern dentistry has increasingly turned to composite fillings as a strong, safe and more natural looking alternative. Composite fillings utilize a natural tooth colored material.
Pros of Composite Fillings
The major advantage of these fillings is that they come in a range of shades that closely match the color of an individual's tooth. Due to the increased strength of modern composite material, they can now also be used in the back teeth.
The Filling Procedures
During your initial visit to the dentist, he or she begins by anesthetizing the tooth and removing any remaining decay. Once the tooth has been prepared, the dentist places the composite inside, where it binds to the original surface. The process is typically performed in several layers wherein each layer is cured or hardened with the use of a hardening light.
Composite restorations for the back teeth need to be custom-made at an off-site dental lab. Once the dental office receives the custom restorations, the patient returns to the dentist's office, where it will be bonded into place.