A cavity erodes the surface of your tooth. If you develop a cavity, your dentist will remove the damaged part of the tooth, and will replace the lost material with a filling. Composite fillings are a special resin that is inserted directly into the opened areas of a tooth, and visually replicates the surface of the tooth. With composite fillings, the affected tooth will retain a more natural appearance than if a metal filling is used. The material is also less susceptible to movement and reshaping than metal fillings.

How Composite Fillings Work

Before a filling can be inserted, your dentist must remove all infected parts of a decayed tooth. Once the infected material has been eliminated, the composite material, in liquid form, is inserted into the holes left by the cavity removal. A special curing light is used to expedite the material’s hardening. The material is shaped to imitate the natural structure of the tooth from before the procedure. If a cavity has destroyed too much of a tooth to use a filling, a dental crown may be required for the affected tooth.

The Advantages Of Composite Fillings

One of the biggest advantages of receiving composite fillings over metal is that the composite material looks far more natural than when metal fillings are used. The metal-free composite material is designed to imitate the structure and color of a white tooth. Also, because the composite fillings do not contain metal, they face a lower risk of reshaping. Metal is more vulnerable to the effects of temperature than the composite material. A metal filling will constrict more when cold, or expand more when hot, than the composite fillings. This movement can weaken a metal filling, and could even damage nearby teeth.