When a filling has to be replaced, or when tooth decay needs to be removed and the area filled, it may be done with a composite material. In preparation, the dentist will numb the area with anesthetic and then remove all the decay. If the decay is severe and has been reached, or is near the tooth root, the dentist may put liner material inside the tooth for root protection. When a colour match to your tooth is desired, we will build up your tooth composite filling in layers. After each layer is applied a special blue light is used to harden the material before additional layers are added.
Once complete, the dentist will shape and polish your tooth until it looks very much like your tooth in its original pre-decay form. A test will be performed with a small sheet of material that leaves trace marks between teeth to ensure that your new tooth does not alter your original biting pattern.
Current day composite fillings have been proven over time to last as long as typical amalgam fillings. A composite approach can also be used in saving a tooth from a crown procedure. Crowns can be costly, and occasionally significant tooth area needs to be removed in preparation for a crown, so composite fillings can be an important option.