When a tooth has been damaged by the decay process, trauma, or other insult; it can be restored with a composite filling. Composite fillings are also referred to as tooth colored fillings.
There are a large variety of shades(colors) that can be chosen from in order to better match the tooth being restored. There are several advantages of composite fillings over the older silver (amalgam) fillings. In decayed teeth, typically the preparation of the tooth is smaller for a compostite filling than what is required to place a silver amalgam filling thus conserving tooth structure.
These fillings are bonded to the existing tooth structure which increases their strength. With the ability to closely match existing tooth color, composite fillings are esthetically pleasing.
Indications for Composite Fillings:
Repair of minor fractures in teeth
Closing of small spaces between teeth (see bonding)
As with all dental restorations, composite fillings are not permanent and may need eventual replacement. They are a very good, conservative approach to tooth restoration.