Composite White Fillings

What filling is right for me?

Traditional fillings can be gold, porcelain, or a tooth-colored composite. The strength and durability of these materials make them especially useful for fillings towards the back of the mouth. Newer fillings are made of ceramic and plastic compounds that can mimic the appearance of natural teeth. These compounds, often called composite resins, are usually used on front teeth which natural appearance is important.

Several factors influence the performance, durability, longevity and expense of dental restorations, including:

  • The components used in the filling material
  • The amount of tooth structure remaining
  • Where and how the filling is placed
  • The chewing load that the tooth will have to bear
  • The length and number of visits needed to prepare and adjust the restored tooth

Before your treatment begins, Dr. Nguyen will discuss with you all the options in regards to fillings and help you choose the best filling for you. There are two basic types of fillings that Dr. Nguyen will discuss with you:

Direct fillings – these fillings are placed immediately into a prepared cavity in a single visit. Direct fillings include glass ionomers, resin ionomers, and composite (resin) fillings. Dr. Nguyen will prepare your tooth, place the filling and adjust it in one appointment.

Indirect fillings – these fillings generally require two or more visits. Indirect fillings can include inlays, onlays, veneers, crowns, and bridges used with gold, base metal alloys, ceramics, or composites. During your first visit, your tooth will be prepared and we will make an impression of the area to be restored. Dr. Nguyen will then place a temporary crown over the tooth. The impression will be sent to a dental laboratory to create the dental restoration. At your next appointment, Dr. Nguyen will cement the restoration into the prepared cavity and adjust it as needed.

We prefer to almost always use mercury free white composite fillings. However, there are times when it is medically necessary to perform a silver mercury filling due to circumstances. Whatever the situation may be, we will always discuss beforehand with our patients and help them make the choice that is best for them.