White Fillings – what are white fillings made of?
Most people are familiar with the old fashioned grey amalgam fillings. Many would like to avoid having these as they don’t look very nice. Some are also put off by the fact that amalgam fillings contain some mercury. Another problem with amalgam is that it doesn’t bond the tooth together and often leads to cracking of the tooth around the filling. Modern white fillings are the solution. They look much better, are glued in, so therefore help to avoid the tooth cracking around the filling, and they don’t contain mercury.
Different types of white filling we provide
Glass Ionomer White Fillings
This white filling is an affordable option that is quick and easy to place. Glass ionomer has the added benefit of containing small amounts of fluoride which helps to prevent decay. It is often used for children’s fillings and as a core material to build up heavily broken down teeth. The only drawback is that it may wear slightly and need topping up after a few years. Normally takes one appointment of 15-30 minutes
Composite White Fillings
Modern composite fillings are highly wear resistant and come in many shades so that we can match the filling to your tooth colour. They look great and are a mid-range cost. As they are glued in they can strengthen poorly supported parts of your teeth. This means the dentist doesn’t have to remove healthy parts of your teeth that have been undermined or weakened by decay. Normally takes one appointment of 30-45 minutes
Inlays or Onlays
If a filling is very large, or if you want to have the strongest, most hard-wearing filling placed, then an inlay or onlay is for you. It involves taking an impression of the tooth so that a model of your tooth can be made. Your model is then sent to a dental laboratory where a highly trained technician will fabricate the filling from a special type of composite, porcelain or very strong ceramic. This is then glued in on a second appointment. Another benefit of this type of white filling is that more time can be taken in shaping the filling to fit properly into your bite. Its contours will better match those of a natural tooth. Normally takes two appointments of approx. 45-60 minutes (appt. 1) and 30 minutes (appt. 2)