Cosmetic filling treatment, as the name implies, is a form of restorative dental treatment that involves the use of materials like amalgam or composite resin filling to treat tooth damaged by decay. In dental filling treatment, the dentist inserts the filling material into the portion of the tooth that has been damaged by decay and stops the decay from spreading into the root where it might cause serious dental infections like an abscess. One of the biggest advantages of dental filling treatment is that it eliminates the need for tooth extraction. While the amalgam filling is the traditional type of filling prepared using different metals like copper, tin and mercury, the composite (white) filling is made using is a hard durable plastic kind of material that is translucent and matches the colour of the teeth and is primarily used by people on aesthetic grounds. During the filling procedure, the dentist numbs the area using local anaesthesia, drills the damaged tooth to remove the decayed area, cleans the area and then gradually applies the filling material in layers. As the final step, the dentist applies a laser light to harden the layers and eventually remove the excess material and polishes off the final restoration. The entire process takes not more than 45 minutes to one hour and can be completed off in a single sitting. Silver amalgam dental fillings are known to last for over 10 to 12 years on an average and the composite ones can last for more than five to seven years.
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