Why should I consider white fillings?
Fillings have been designed in recent years to be more natural looking, as well as doing the job they're meant to do. Many people don't want silver fillings that show when they laugh or smile because of their appearance.
Are white fillings expensive?
Many white fillings are considered as a “cosmetic” treatment, you can only have them done privately. Costs tend to vary from dentist to dentist depending on the size and type of white filling used, the time it takes to carry out the treatment and your region. Before committing to any treatment your dentist will be able to give you an idea of the cost.
Are white fillings as good as silver amalgam fillings?
White fillings are considered less long lasting than silver amalgam fillings. However, there are new materials that match those of older fillings, proving to be very successful.
The life of a white filling can depend on where it is in your mouth and how heavily your teeth come together when you bite. Upon examination, your dentist will be able to tell you how long your fillings are expected to last.
Do I need to replace silver amalgam fillings with white ones?
It is usually suggested that fillings are only changed when they need replacing. When this happens you can ask for it to be replaced with a tooth-coloured filling. Some dentists do not prefer to use white fillings due to their lowered success rate. In this case crowns or inlays can be used but this could require tooth extraction.
What are white fillings made from?
The material used in white fillings can vary but are mainly made from glass particles, synthetic resin and a setting ingredient. Some of the other choices include:
Composite fillings: Composite fillings are tooth coloured and made from powdered glass, quartz, silica or other ceramic particles added to resin base. After the tooth is prepared, the filling is bonded onto the area with an adhesive and light shone until it is set. Less tooth is required for removal for successful application.
Glass ionomer: These fillings form a chemical bond with the tooth, releasing fluoride which helps prevent further tooth decay. However, this filling is fairly weak meaning they are usually used on baby teeth and non-biting surfaces.
Porcelain inlays: Computer technology can be used to design and prepare perfectly fitting inlays within one or two visits. These can be made in the laboratory, are colour customisable, are hard wearing and long lasting.