What it is. A composite is a tooth colored material that’s used to fill cavities and repair fractured front teeth. They look very natural and can be polished to appear very much like the natural tooth. Composites have replaced “silver” fillings which used to be the only option to fill cavities.
On baby teeth, we use composites for cavities that are relatively small or only located on one or two surfaces of the teeth. For baby teeth with large cavities or multiple locations the restoration of choice is a stainless steel crown. For adult teeth, unless there is considerable tooth structure loss requiring a crown, composites are the restoration of choice.
Composites, when done on baby teeth, do not last as long as they last on permanent teeth. Because of this, when large cavities exist or they appear on multiple locations, a stainless steel crown is often the treatment of choice.
Why we do it. We repair cavities because decay and bacteria can spread to other teeth, to adult teeth still under the gums and to other parts of the body. Bad bacteria in children spread at a faster rate than in adults.
What to expect. During your child’s composite appointment, he or she will be given laughing gas for relaxation. If needed, we may also put the tooth “to sleep” so your child’s visit is a painless experience. Children’s treatment appointments typically last for 45 minutes or less.