Dentistry for Children

Santa Cruz Children's Dental Group · Joe Rawlins, DDS, MS · Ryan Wittwer, DDS, MS

Santa Cruz Children's Dental Group Dental Information Center




An inexpensive way to restore a small amount of tooth decay.

The Problem:

Decay on a small portion of any tooth

The Solution:

A composite filling is a tooth colored quartz-like material. After tooth decay is removed and cleaned, this tooth colored material is layered into the tooth. Each layer is hardened or cured with highly intense visible light, and the final surface is shaped and polished to match the tooth. The final restoration is virtually invisible.


White fillings:

Composite fillings are more than just attractive. They require minimal tooth preparation, in other words less healthy tooth structure is removed to restore the tooth. Also, a sealant can be placed over the remaining exposed grooves of the tooth to minimize the risk of decay on another area of the tooth.

Silver Fillings:

Silver fillings have been proven to be more durable on cavities that are in between baby teeth.


White fillings:

The initial investment in a composite filling is higher than that for a silver filling. This is due to the fact that the composite material is more expensive and the restoration is more difficult and time consuming to place. Also, on baby teeth, with cavities in between the teeth they are more likely to have recurrent decay, thus resulting in the need for replacement.

Silver fillings:

The obvious disadvantage is the color. Also, people have various beliefs about the metal contents in silver fillings, as they do contain a small amount of mercury. Another disadvantage is that more tooth structure needs to be removed to retain a silver filling. Thus, more healthy structure is removed that is for a composite filling.


In cases of extensive decay or if the baby tooth required a pulpotomy, a crown is the best option.

Santa Cruz Children's Dental Group

Monday - Friday 8:30am to 5:00pm
Saturday 8:00am to 2:00pm

1667 Dominican Way, Suite 232
Santa Cruz California 95065

Santa Cruz Dentists

P: (831) 476-5512
F: (831) 427-7344