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A filling replaces part of a tooth that has been lost because of decay or trauma. Unlike silver (amalgam) fillings, composites actually bond to the teeth, so they are especially suited to repairing teeth (especially front teeth) that have been chipped, broken or decayed. They can also be used in back teeth if there is not too much decay or damage. The procedure is simple and is usually completed in one visit. However, depending on the location, composites may chip. Composites, glass ionomers, and resins are just different types of white fillings.
- Normally, your dentist will give you an anesthetic to numb the area
- Any existing decay will be removed
- Any existing fillings (if present) will be removed
- The tooth will be washed and dried
- Next, the tooth to be treated will be primed so that it’s ready to chemically bond with the resin
- The filling material will then be placed into or onto the tooth and contoured
- The filling will undergo a chemical process of hardening through light activation.
- Your dentist will trim and polish the final restoration
White fillings come in a range of shades so they can be matched to the colour of your existing teeth.
White fillings are sticky so they can be used to reshape and rebuild broken edges or worn teeth. They can also be used to cover stains or discoloration if they cannot be removed by cleaning.
Because white fillings bind to the tooth, less structure needs to be removed when placing a white filling than when placing a silver one.