Composite (White) Fillings are the modern alternative to traditional mercury fillings.They help halt decay on a portoin of any tooth and serve as an excellent replacement for old-fashioned mercury (silver) fillings so that you can maintain a white, beautiful smile.
A composite restoration is a tooth colored quartz-like material. After tooth decay is removed and cleaned, tooth colored material is layered into the tooth. Each layer is hardened or cured with highly intense visible light, and the final surface is shaped and polished to match the tooth. The final restoration is virtually invisible.
Composite restorations are more than just attractive. They are stronger because they bond directly to the surface of the tooth. They protect the tooth from fracturing because they don’t require the severe “undercut” (removal of healthy tooth structure) of a mercury filling.
The initial investment in a composite restoration is higher than that for a mercury filling. This is due to the fact that the composite material is more expensive and the restoration is more difficult and time consuming to place. However, this initial higher investment is offset in the long run by the health benefits and reduced likelihood of restoring potentially fractured teeth.
Inlays/onlays are sometimes good alternatives to composite fillings, offering excellent long term durability. In cases of extensive decay, inlays/onlays or crowns are the only alternatives.