Composite Fillings

Composite Fillings

Composite fillings are a type of filling which is used to repair decayed, fractured or cracked teeth and is tooth-colored to blend in with your other teeth.

While there are many different types of filling, a composite filling is the most popular as it looks the most aesthetically natural, especially when used for a visible tooth. They are a temporary solution to replace missing or damaged parts of teeth due to injury or decay and will need to be replaced by newer fillings at another stage.

You may need a composite filling for several reasons:

  • Chipped teeth.
  • Closing the space between two teeth.
  • Cracked, fractured or broken teeth.
  • Decayed teeth.
  • Worn-down teeth.

How do dentists apply fillings to the tooth?

Dentists will usually be able to apply a composite filling in one session. They will numb up the affected tooth and remove any decay and fractures, then prepare the tooth by shaping and smoothing around the hole. The tooth is then cleaned and, if necessary, medication is applied to protect the tooth further. The filling is then applied directly onto the tooth and shaped as naturally as possible to restore its original shape and function.

There may be some sensitivity to temperature after the treatment, however, this should pass once the tooth is accustomed to the new filling.

Be sure to follow all care instructions and maintain good oral hygiene to prolong the life of your new filling.

What’s the advantage of composite-based fillings?

Composite based fillings are tooth-colored, so they tend to be more aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

What’s the difference between composite fillings and other fillings?

Historically we did the amalgam fillings that had a mixture of silver and mercury. Of course, mercury can be dangerous to humans, so, over the years they have fallen out of favor. Dentists almost exclusively only do composite-based fillings these days.

Can you replace mercury-based fillings with composite-based fillings?

Yes, you can.

How long does it take to do one filling?

It takes anywhere from a half-hour to an hour to drill a tooth and insert a composite filling.

Do you replace cracked or loose fillings?

Yes. And sometimes you need to replace the filling and replace it with a crown (if enough of the tooth is missing).

If you have mercury-based fillings, should you have them removed?

Not necessarily. If you want to have a mercury-based filling removed for aesthetic reasons, we understand the desire of wanting to have it removed. However, once a dentist starts drilling a mercury-based filling, the filling material will aerosolize. The filling material will get in your mouth and you may swallow some of the filling material. Something that was once contained, now has pathways into your body.

It usually makes more sense to remove the filling when it’s an actual problem (like a cracked mercury-based filling or the tooth with the filling has new decay and needs to be addressed).

Some dentists push for removing mercury-based fillings for supposed health reasons, but we feel that’s slightly unethical.

What makes Greenway Dental Excellence great/different at composite fillings?

We have many years of experience when it comes to composite fillings. We also use the best materials (something that a lot of people don’t think about). Some people who are in need of dental treatment are tempted to travel out of the country to have fillings done, and this is where material selection may become an issue for them later on.

What should I do if I feel pain or discomfort after I have a filling done?

If you come back to your dentist complaining of pain or discomfort, 5% - 10% will be that the filling thickness is built up too high so it’s bothering you when you bite down. But 80% or 90% of the time, it’s because the nerve has been affected and the tooth needs a root canal.

Will getting a composite filling hurt?


Will my insurance cover composite fillings?

Yes. Rates vary depending on the insurance company.

Is it possible to have a reaction to novocaine?

Yes, but it’s rare. We haven’t used novocaine since the 1950s. We use lidocaine. People do have a reaction to lidocaine but it’s extremely rare.

How long can I wait to eat after I have a composite filling done?

You can eat immediately.

How long can I wait to drink (hot or cold beverages ) after I have a composite filling done?


How should I take care or be careful of my filling after the procedure?

You shouldn’t have to do anything different than you normally do to take care of your teeth.


Contact Us

We encourage you to contact us with any questions or comments you may have. Please call our office or use the quick contact form below.