Tooth Colored Fillings Procedure

Tooth Colored FillingsA white or composite dental filling (also known as a tooth colored or resin filling/restoration) replaces part of a tooth that has been lost due to decay, trauma or accidental damage. Composite fillings are a more popular alternative to amalgam (silver and mercury) fillings especially in esthetic areas of the mouth. These fillings are color matched to your other teeth, are bonded directly, and look more natural than their metal counterparts. Composite fillings can also be used to close gaps between teeth, and making teeth appear to be more straight or even.


  • Composite fillings bond to the tooth  and do not require removal of otherwise healthy tooth structure
  • Composite fillings can typically be repaired if damaged
  • Composite fillings can closely match existing tooth color and appearance
  • Composite fillings can be used in both the front and back teeth without compromising on esthetics
  • Composite fillings can sometimes be placed without the use of anesthetic (freezing)


If decay is present on the tooth, then this must be removed first. In circumstances where decay is not present (For example: chipped tooth, repair, etc), then often an anesthetic is not required as the composite filling is chemically bonded to the tooth. Prior to advancing to the next step, the appropriate color/shade of composite filling is chosen in order to provide a natural appearance. The surface of the tooth is then cleaned and primed, and a bonding agent is then brushed onto the surface of the tooth and light cured. This curing process essentially makes the bonding agent “sticky” so the filling will adhere to the tooth. The filling material is then placed on the tooth shaped and sculpted to provide a natural appearance. The filling is light cured again which hardens the filling almost instantly. The last step involves polishing and checking to ensure that your bite is back to normal and you are able to floss and maintain your tooth as before.


Alternatives to composite resin fillings can sometimes depend on the amount of tooth area to be restored or fixed, the location in the mouth, and esthetic requirements. The most esthetic alternative to tooth colored fillings are typically inlays and onlays which are created by a laboratory technician and inserted by the dentist. These are typically stronger and more esthetic than composite fillings but do require an additional visit to the dentist and are a more expensive alternative.

Modified composite resins and glass ionomer restorations are other alternatives to composite fillings and are typically used in very hard to isolate areas of the mouth or in individuals who may be very prone to tooth decay. These types of fillings are usually not as strong as resin fillings and usually not indicated for heavy load bearing areas of the mouth. These fillings are also not as esthetic as composite resin fillings but are capable of releasing fluoride and increase resistance to tooth decay.

Metal alternatives to composite resin fillings include gold inlays/onlays and dental amalgam fillings. Metal restorations are very strong and long lasting and we will he happy to discuss these alternatives with you as well.