Composite Fillings

Composite resins, or tooth-colored fillings, provide good durability and resistance to fracture in small- to mid-size fillings that need to withstand moderate pressure from the constant stress of chewing. They can be used on either front or back teeth. They are a good choice for people who prefer that their fillings look more natural. 

It generally takes longer to place a composite filling than it does for a metal filling. That’s because composite fillings require the tooth be kept clean and dry while the cavity is being filled. Tooth-colored fillings are now used more often than amalgam or gold fillings, probably due to cosmetics. In a society focused on a white, bright smile, people tend to want fillings that blend with the natural color of their teeth.

Ultimately, the best dental filling is no dental filling. Prevention is the best medicine. You can dramatically decrease your risk of cavities and other dental diseases simply by:

  • brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
  • flossing daily
  • eating a balanced diet
  • visiting the dentist regularly.

If you decide to go for a filling, here is the procedure: First, we will use a local anesthetic to numb the area around the tooth to be filled. Next, a drill, air abrasion instrument, or laser will be used to remove the decayed area. The choice of instrument will depend on the location and extent of the decay.
Next, wet will probe or test the area to determine if all the decay has been removed. Once the decay has been removed, wet will prepare the space for the filling by cleaning the cavity of bacteria and debris. If the decay is near the root, we may first put in a liner made of glass ionomer, composite resin, or other material to protect the nerve. Generally, after the filling is in, we will finish and polish it.


Several additional steps are required for tooth-colored fillings and are as follows. After the decay is removed and cleaned the area, the tooth-colored material is applied in layers. Next, a special light that "cures" or hardens each layer is applied. When the multilayering process is completed, we will shape the composite material to the desired result, trim off any excess material, and polish the final restoration.