Composite Fillings

Composite Fillings

Treating dental cavities and general wear-and-tear with white fillings

Most people will end up having a filling at some point in their lives. Cavities are a very common problem as our teeth are very susceptible to the gradual decay that forms when bacteria wears away the tough enamel. We use fillings to replace the part of the tooth that has been damaged, restoring it back to its full function and health.

We are an amalgam-free clinic. All our fillings are composite, a resin that closely resembles enamel in appearance. Composite is a great alternative to older types of metal filling.

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What are composite fillings?

Composite resins, or tooth-coloured fillings, provide good durability and resistance to fracture. Composite has been developed to become strong enough to be used on back teeth. Unlike amalgam, tooth-coloured fillings are bonded to the tooth structure, becoming almost invisible. They are the perfect choice for people who prefer that their fillings look more natural.

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How do we repair teeth with composite fillings at TwentyOneDental?

We can treat cavities and damage in a single appointment. If you are nervous about having any dental treatment, we offer sedation as a solution to help put you at ease.

Treating the tooth

We first use local anaesthetic to remove any discomfort during the procedure. We then clean the tooth and remove any decay, leaving only the healthy tooth behind.

Preparing the surface

We dry the tooth. Using a special acidic solution, we prepare the surface for the composite to bind to. The acid creates a rough surface so the first layer of composite can fuse.

Shaping the filling

Unlike amalgam fillings, onlays and inlays, composite fillings are applied directly to the tooth, built up in layers and shaped by your dentist while you are in the chair. We harden the layers using a UV lamp. The composite is shaped to form the correct bite surface and fissures to mesh properly with the rest of your teeth. The composite is also colour-matched to blend in seamlessly with the natural tooth.

Finishing touches

We harden the final layer under the lamp. We polish the filling, leaving it glossy and smooth, just like natural dental enamel.


How long do composite fillings last?

Dental composite is very hard-wearing but it isn’t as durable as natural tooth enamel. It is more susceptible to general wear-and-tear which is why we check on any fillings when you visit for your dental check-up. With composite fillings however, we can restore any damage fairly easily and reshape your fillings. Composite fillings can last as long as ten years, longer if well-looked after. Regular check-ups and hygiene visits are therefore important as they work hand in hand, supporting good maintenance and great oral care for longevity.

How do I know if I have a cavity?

The case with many dental issues is that the symptoms are often very mild and easily missed. That why it’s common for cavities and gum disease to be overlooked until they reach a point where it’s more complicated to treat. The symptoms to look out for cavities are for your tooth to have an increased sensitivity to temperature, pain when you bite down on the tooth, any swelling in the gum area and any noticeable discoloration on the tooth itself.

Is a filling a cosmetic treatment?

No. While in the past, composite fillings were considered as a cosmetic alternative to amalgam, fewer dental clinic now offer amalgam - ours included. Fillings are considered as a general dental treatment as they are a medical treatment, dealing with an issue that impacts your dental health and restores your tooth back to full functionality.

My filling has broken, can you repair it?

Yes. Composite fillings are easy to repair and we can address the damage in a single appointment. It’s best to get in contact as soon as you can so you aren’t left with any sharp pieces in your mouth for longer than necessary.

I have amalgam fillings, can you replace them with composite fillings?

Yes. Composite is a natural-looking alternative to metal fillings and will also cover any dark lines that the amalgam has left on your natural tooth. If your metal filling is large, we can make a ceramic inlay or onlay to replace and fit it in the same day.

Can I eat on a new filling?

You can but we advise that you favour the other side of your mouth after your treatment. Your tooth may be tender after having the cavity treated. As we harden the filling with a UV light, it will be solid and perfectly usable after the treatment. However, we suggest eating soft foods until the day after your treatment has passed.

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We look forward to welcoming you into our friendly clinic
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We are situated to the West of Hove Museum (on the corner of New Church Road and Pembroke Gardens) TwentyOneDental, A Digitally Advanced Dental, Implant & Specialist Referral Centre, 21 New Church Road Brighton & Hove BN3 4AD.


01273 202 102





Opening Hours

8:00am - 7:00pm
8:00am - 5:00pm
8:00am - 5:00pm
8:00am - 5:00pm
8:00am - 3:00pm
By appointment only
Please note: We are open to patients arriving from 8am but our telephone lines are not open until 8.15am