A composite filling is a tooth-colored plastic and glass mixture used to restore decayed teeth. Composites are also used for cosmetic improvements of the smile by changing the color of the teeth or reshaping disfigured teeth.
The main advantage of a direct dental composite over traditional materials such as amalgam is improved aaesthetics. Composites can be made in a wide range of tooth colors allowing near invisible restoration of teeth. Composites are glued into teeth and this strengthens the tooth's structure. The discovery of acid etching of teeth to allow a micromechanical bond to the tooth allows good adhesion of the restoration to the tooth. This means that unlike silver filling there is no need for the dentist to create retentive features destroying healthy tooth. The acid-etch adhesion prevents micro leakage; however, all white fillings will eventually leak slightly. Very high bond strengths to tooth structure, both enamel and dentin, can be achieved with the current generation of dentin bonding agents.
Clinical survival of composite restorations placed in posterior teeth has been shown to be significantly lower than amalgam restoration..However, improvements in composite technology and techniques have improved their longevity.
A hand-held wand that emits primary blue light is used to cure the resin within a dental patient's mouth