White Fillings & Amalgam Replacement
Why Do Teeth Need Fillings?
Teeth can be damaged by bacteria causing decay, old fillings wearing out or biting forces causing cracking and chipping. When a tooth is damaged, it can be repaired with composite bonded restorations. This will restore the shape and function of the tooth and seal out bacteria.
Modern white fillings are made of composite resin and are mercury-free. Tooth composite is a blend of resin and fine ceramic fillers. It is bonded directly to the tooth’s dentine and enamel.
Bonding adds strength to the tooth and allows for a more conservative approach than the old amalgam science. Amalgams had to be locked into the tooth’s structure which leads to tooth fracture as the amalgam fillings age.
One of the other main benefits of white fillings is that our dentist can custom match the shade of your white filling to your natural teeth colour.
What Happens During A Filling?
Making your filling as pain and discomfort free as possible is a high priority for us.
Our dentist starts by numbing the area of the affected tooth with numbing gel and local anaesthetic. They then remove the decay and bacteria from the tooth before preparing the tooth for the filling.
The dentist fills the tooth with the white filling material that best matches the shade of your teeth and then shapes it to match your natural teeth.
Once the dentist is happy with the shape and colour of your filling, they will set and harden the filling with a curing light. Your tooth will have a final shape and polish, and your bite checked.
How Long Do White Fillings Last?
Composite white resin fillings are strong and durable. The average lifespan of a white filling is 7-10 years before it needs replacing. Your regular dental maintenance checks will monitor your fillings and let you know when they are nearing the end of their useful life.
Should You Replace Your Amalgam Fillings?
Amalgam fillings were the standard form of dental filling for over a hundred years. Made of a blend of metals such as silver, copper or tin bound together by mercury. To hold them in place, a large part of your surrounding teeth had to be removed along with the decayed material.
Amalgam fillings are harder than your tooth and expand as they get older. This expansion can crack the tooth or create a ‘leaky filling’ where the amalgam no longer protects the tooth from bacteria. The margins of the filling can look ditched rather than smooth, and decay gets in under the filling.
Despite numerous scientific studies showing amalgam’s safety, many people are concerned with the health effects of mercury in their mouth.
Where your amalgam filling is starting to create problems and is no longer effective, then it is time to have it replaced with a natural tooth coloured filling.
Not only does replacing amalgam fillings with white fillings improve your appearance, but it also has the benefit of removing the stresses created by aging amalgams.
Our dentist takes all possible precautions to minimise any health impacts during the removal of amalgam including the use of a rubber dam and high-speed suction.
Tips to Maintaining Your Fillings
After your tooth filling, we advise you not to eat or drink until the local anaesthetic has worn off which can take between one and three hours. This stops you from accidentally biting your cheek or burning your mouth on hot food.
Your fillings can be maintained through regular brushing, flossing and regular dental check-ups.
Want Mercury-Free White Fillings?
If you are looking for natural looking white fillings, then book an appointment with Meg Bowtell Dentist in Alderley.