Tooth Colored Fillings

What are Tooth Coloured Fillings?

These are composite, tooth-coloured filling materials that is actually a mixture of plastic and fine glass particles. These filling materials are used as a filling to treat tooth cavity.
When a patient develops a cavity, the decayed areas of the tooth must be removed to stop the cavity from expanding and spreading decay. This makes it necessary to fill the hole with strong and durable dental materials that will allow the teeth to function normally. In the past, fillings that were made of silver amalgam material were used. Today, composite, tooth-coloured filling materials with a more natural colour are available.
The patients prefer using Tooth-Coloured fillings when compared to amalgam or gold fillings, since they can blend with the natural colour of their teeth and give them a natural feel to their smile.

Steps Involved in Tooth Filling

The dentist will numb the area around the tooth to be filled, using a local anesthetic. The dentist usually uses a drill, an air abrasion instrument, or a laser equipment to remove the decayed area.
The dentist will then probe or test the area to make sure that all the decay has been removed. Once all the decay is removed, the space for the filling is then prepared by cleaning the cavity of bacteria and debris. After your dentist has removed the decay and cleaned the area, the tooth-coloured composite material is applied in layers. Next, a special light is applied that "cures" or hardens each layer. When the multi-layering process is completed, the dentist will then shape the composite material, trim off any excess material, and polish the final restoration.


  • Aesthetics: these composite fillings are similar to the teeth’s natural colour. They are mostly used for the front teeth or visible areas of the teeth.
  • Bonding to tooth structure: these composite fillings provide support by chemically bonding to the tooth structure.
  • Versatility: apart from being used as a filling material for decay, composite fillings are also used to repair chipped, broken, or worn teeth.
  • Tooth-Sparing preparation: sometimes more of the tooth structure can be spared compared to the use of amalgam fillings, especially in the process of removing decay and preparing for the filling.
  • No health risks associated with the use of composite fillings.


  • These fillings are a little costlier when compared to silver fillings.
  • Composite fillings may discolour over time.
  • Composites cost more than amalgam are less durable.
  • It has to be replaced more often than amalgam fillings.
  • It generally takes more time to place a composite filling than it does for a metal filling because the tooth has to be kept clean and dry while the composite filling is being filled.

Prevention and care
Prevention is the best medicine for any tooth decay. The patients can decrease their risk of cavities and other dental diseases by:

  • Brushing their teeth twice a day using toothpaste.
  • Flossing regularly.
  • Eating a balanced diet with vitamins and calcium.
  • Visiting the dentist regularly or every six months.

Authored By Dr Sanjay N - Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopaedics, Bangalore

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