A composite filling is a tooth-coloured plastic and glass mixture used to restore decayed teeth. Composites are also used for cosmetic improvements of the smile by changing the colour of the teeth or reshaping disfigured teeth.
Following preparation, the dentist places the composite in layers, typically using a light specialized to harden each layer. When the process is finished, the dentist will shape the composite to fit the tooth. The dentist then polishes the composite to prevent staining and early wear.
Aesthetics are the main advantage of composites, since dentists can blend shades to create a colour nearly identical to that of the actual tooth. Composites bond to the tooth to support the remaining tooth structure, which helps to prevent breakage and insulate the tooth from excessive temperature changes.