Fillings are used to treat decayed or damaged teeth. Old worn fillings may also sometimes have to be replaced.
Composite fillings, commonly known as white fillings, have virtually replaced mercury amalgam fillings. They are more aesthetically pleasing and there is no risk of mercury toxicity. They can wear out slightly faster in larger cavities than amalgam fillings although the strength of modern composite fillings has significantly improved since their introduction in the 1960s.
After a local anaesthetic has numbed the area the decayed portion of tooth is carefully removed. The tooth is then prepared and the composite filling is bonded in place with a high intensity light to harden the area.