We use tooth coloured fillings because they look better and are safer than traditional amalgam silver filings (there is some debate around the toxicity inherent in the latter).
White fillings can be blended to match any shade of tooth so they look natural and the composite resin we use to make them can also be used to build up cracked or chipped teeth, improving their strength and cosmetic appearance.
Most people have fillings of one sort or another owing to the amount of sugar in our diets these days, and now that people have become more acutely conscious about the way they look, few want silver fillings that stand out when they laugh or smile.
While white fillings have hitherto been considered more fragile than silver amalgam fillings, there are now new materials available that are comparable to silver amalgam, and these are proving to be very durable. Composite fillings actually impart strength to the teeth as they bond directly to the enamel and dentine, unlike amalgams that just fill the space and can actually cause breaking pressures to the surrounding teeth over time.
The life expectancy of a white filling depends on where it is in your mouth and how heavily your teeth come together when you bite — we will advise you on how long yours can be expected to last and answer any other questions you might have before you decide whether a white filling is for you.
If you were wondering whether it’s worth replacing your amalgam fillings with white fillings, it is usually best to change fillings only when your dentist judges that an old filling needs replacing. If so, yes, we can replace it with a tooth-coloured white filling.
In some cases white fillings can’t be used in back teeth — one way around this would be to use crowns or inlays. As ever, we will offer the best advice, unconditionally, because we believe that honesty and integrity do make a difference. Wherever possible we apply Minimally Invasive Dentistry (MID). This technique means that less tooth is now removed from a decayed area and bioactive materials are placed to stimulate the tooth’s own repair mechanism. Calcium, phosphate and fluoride lead to remineralisation of the tooth structure, and tooth coloured materials such as glass ionomer fillings are now being used more extensively and sit well with our ethos of preventative dentistry.