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A composite resin is a tooth-colored plastic mixture filled with glass (silicon dioxide). Introduced in the 1960s, dental composites were confined to the front teeth because they were not strong enough to withstand the pressure and wear generated by the back teeth. Since then, composites have been significantly improved and can be successfully placed in the back teeth as well. Following preparation, the dentist places the composite in layers, using a specialized light 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. It takes the dentist about 10-20 minutes longer to place a composite than the traditional silver filling. Placement time depends on the size and location of the cavity.