Most people have fillings of one sort or another in their mouths. Nowadays fillings can be natural looking, as well as doing the job they’re meant to do.
Many people don’t want metal fillings that show when they laugh or smile because they are more conscious about the way they look.
Are white fillings expensive?
Because many white fillings are classed as a ‘cosmetic’ treatment, you can only have them done privately. So 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 carry out the treatment.
Costs may also vary from region to region,your dentist will be able to give you an iestimate of the cost before you agree to 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 that are almost as good as silver amalgam, and these are proving to be very successful.
How long a white filling lasts can depend a lot on where it is in your mouth and how heavily your teeth come together when you bite.
Is it worth replacing my amalgam fillings with white ones?
white filling treatmentIt is usually best to change fillings only when your dentist decides that an old filling needs replacing. When this happens you can ask to have it replaced with a tooth-coloured filling. Sometimes your dentist may prefer not to put white fillings in back teeth as they may not successful. One way around this would be to use crowns or inlays, but this can mean removing more of the tooth and can be more expensive.
What are tooth-coloured fillings made of?
It 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 material they use. Composite fillings are most popular type of white fillings, they are strong, but may not be as hard wearing as ordinary amalgam fillings. Composite fillings are tooth coloured and are made from powdered glass, quartz, silica or other ceramic particles added to a resin base. The dentist will choose a shade to match your own teeth, although over time the filling can get stained. After the tooth is prepared, the filling is bonded onto the area with an adhesive and a light shone onto it to set it. With this type of filling, the dentist may have to remove less of the tooth, which is obviously better. Glass ionomer Glass ionomer fillings form a chemical bond with the tooth. They may also release fluoride, which helps prevent further tooth decay. This type of filling is fairly weak. Because of this, they are usually used on baby teeth and non-biting surfaces, such as around the neck of the tooth. Little preparation is needed as the filling bonds directly to the tooth.
We can now use computer technology (called CADCAM) to design and prepare perfectly fitted porcelain inlays in two visits. Porcelain inlays are made in a laboratory, this will need at least two visits to your dentist. Porcelain can be hard wearing and long lasting, and it can be coloured to match your own teeth. This type of filling can be quite expensive.
At Caspian Dental Clinic, we offer white fillings as a normal part of the treatment they give you. There are alternatives such as crowns and inlays although they can cost a lot more. Veneers can be used on front teeth instead of crowns or fillings .
For information about crowns and veneers , look at out treatments A-Z page.
*With thanks to Britih Dental Health Foundation