Improve your Smile with White fillings
Also known as a dental composite, a white filling is a tooth-coloured resin used to restore decayed or broken teeth. By using enamel and dentin bonding techniques, white fillings restore teeth that have become damaged as a result of tooth decay or injury. White fillings are used as an alternative to amalgam (silver) fillings, which are aesthetically poor and contain mercury.
How are teeth filled with white fillings?
After removing plaque, tartar, decay and any existing filling, the treatment site is cleaned and then dried. To aid the bonding, the tooth surface is etched and coated with a gel and bonding solution. Once prepared, the white filling material is placed into the tooth cavity, or area to be filled, and then moulded to match the tooth contours. A curing light is then used to harden the filling before it is trimmed and polished to look like a natural part of your tooth.
What are the risks and benefits of white fillings?
Inherent risks exist in all dental procedures, but the main concern with white fillings is their durability and potential shrinkage. However, new technology and dental procedures are resulting in stronger, longer-lasting and lower-shrinkage white fillings.
The benefits far outweigh such problems, because white fillings:
- Can restore not only teeth cavities caused by decay, but chipped, broken and worn teeth.
- The colour can be harmonised to your normal tooth colour to appear natural, so it isn’t noticeable when you smile.
- May be used as a veneer over stained or discoloured teeth.
- less tooth has to be cut away preserving more of your own tooth
- Can be combined with other dental treatments, such as inlays, crowns and bridges.
We can restore your smile to its natural appearance; we can safely replace any silver amalgam fillings with new white ones, and smile with confidence.
These may also be a good choice for people who are afraid of dental work, since a composite can be bonded in place, which means less drilling.
Both my husband and I had two fillings each this morning, done by Mrs Kulkarni; we are both very impressed by the fact that neither of us had any pain during the fairly long procedures, the anaesthetic wore off quickly and consequently neither of us feel any after effects, which hasn’t been the case in the past! Please will you pass on our thanks to Mrs Kulkarni and the team; we have never thanked a dentist before but felt that we had to pass on our gratitude somehow.
FAQs WHITE FILLINGS
Why should I consider white fillings?
Most people have fillings of one sort or another in their mouths. Nowadays fillings are not only functional, but can be natural looking as well. Many people don’t want silver fillings that show when they laugh or smile because they are more conscious about the way they look and about allergies to different materials
Can I get them on the NHS?
The National Health Service will not usually allow white fillings on the biting surfaces of back teeth. However, this does not apply to the sides of back teeth or to any front teeth.
There is a slight chance that some people may be sensitive to the metals used in silver amalgam fillings. If this sensitivity is proven, it may be best to replace the amalgam fillings with another type. (In very exceptional cases these replacements may be available on the NHS, if a consultant decides that a patient is extremely sensitive to these materials and asks for them to be replaced.)
Are they expensive?
Because many white fillings are only available privately, costs can vary quite a lot from dentist to dentist. Costs usually depend on the size and type of white filling used and the time it takes to complete the treatment.
Are they as good as silver amalgam fillings?
White fillings have always been considered less long lasting than silver amalgam fillings. But there are now new materials available with properties comparable to silver amalgam, and these are proving to be very successful. The life expectancy of a white filling can depend greatly on where it is in your mouth and how heavily your teeth come together when you bite. Your dentist can advise you on the life expectancy of your fillings. However, any fillings provided on the NHS are automatically guaranteed for one year.
What are tooth-coloured fillings made of?
This can vary, but they are mainly made of glass particles, synthetic resin and a setting ingredient. Your dentist should be able to give you more information about the particular material that they use.