Dental Fillings: Composite Restorations
When decay, or a cavity, is diagnosed on a tooth, there are various forms of treatment, including tooth colored restorations called composite fillings. These white fillings come in a wide variety of shades to closely match your teeth and allow them to look natural and beautiful when you talk, laugh or smile. This type of treatment only requires one visit, during which the cavity is thoroughly removed and the tooth is conservatively restored to its original condition and appearance. An advantage of these bonded composite fillings, as compared with other dental restorations (such as amalgams or "silver fillings"), is that they require less of the healthy part of a tooth to be removed to hold the filling in place.
This video demonstrates how a small cavity is treated with a composite filling. For a composite filling only a small amount of the tooth structure needs to be removed, just enough to remove the decay. The prepared area is then filled with a composite material and cured with a high intensity light. Finally, it is polished to a smooth finish.
Interproximal cavities are cavities between teeth that can not be seen with the naked eye. Looking on top we may not see any evidence of cavities. Looking from the side, cavities can also be hidden from sight. X-Rays can reveal small cavities between teeth and these should be restored as soon as possible. These small cavities can progress through the top white enamel layer and even the yellow dentin layer before any symptoms of pain appear. If allowed to progress without treatment, the cavity may reach the pulp of the tooth where the nerves are, and the tooth may get infected and even progress to pathology beyond the roots of the tooth.