A Tooth Colored Filling, or “composite,” builds back missing tooth structure to its original form.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What material is in a Tooth Colored Filling?

A tooth colored filling is a mixture of a tooth colored resin with clear glass particles that give it strength.

2. What are the benefits of a Tooth Colored Filling?

Tooth colored fillings come in many shades so they very closely match the color of natural teeth. They are bonded into place and require less removal of healthy tooth structure than silver fillings.

3. What are the risks of a Tooth Colored Filling?

As with any filling, having a tooth colored filling involves some in herent risks both to the remaining tooth structure and to the tooth colored filling itself:

  • Tooth colored fillings are limited because they seal a tooth but do not prevent it from breaking
  • Tooth colored fillings may fracture; the larger the tooth colored fillings, the greater the risk of fracture
  • Tooth colored fillings may decay around the edge of the filling if your dentist is unable to keep the tooth clean and dry while placing the tooth colored filling
  • Preparing for and placing a tooth colored filling can irritate the tooth and cause “post-operative” sensitivity which may last for up to 3 months
  • Teeth which have had tooth colored fillings may need a root canal treatment less than 1% of the time during the lifetime of the tooth

4. What are the alternatives to having a Tooth Colored Filling? 

The alternatives to having a tooth colored filling are:

  • Having a silver filling or “amalgam” placed
  • Having a gold or porcelain inlay/onlay restoration placed

5. How can an existing bite affect a Tooth Colored Filling?

Bite problems may lead to the tooth colored filling or tooth breaking or loosening.

6. Are there any post-treatment restrictions once I have a Tooth Colored Filling?

  • A tooth colored filling may have a good color match with your natural tooth when it is placed but less of a match as your natural tooth ages
  • Tooth colored fillings can collect stain over time from foods such as black tea, coffee and wine
  • Tooth colored fillings may chip or break if used for abnormal activities (e.g., biting fishing line, sewing thread or finger nails, opening bottles).