Replacing Silver (Amalgam) Fillings with White


What are fillings?
A filling replaces part of your tooth when lost to decay or accidental damage. In conventional dentistry, fillings were traditionally made of silver amalgam. They were incredibly unsightly, not to mention destructive to the tooth, which had to be all but destroyed to fit them.

Modern dentistry uses tooth-coloured fillings, known as ‘white fillings’. They are very popular, and not just for newly discovered cavities – you may wish to replace your old amalgam metal fillings to improve your smile’s cosmetic appearance. White fillings are made of composite resin and glass ionomer and take a little longer to create and place than metal fillings, but the results are most definitely worth it.

We have a large colour selection to choose from to make the fillings match your existing teeth. Unlike silver ‘amalgam’ fillings, white fillings are bonded to the teeth so they can also be used to repair teeth, especially front teeth, that have been chipped, broken or decayed. They can also be used on your back teeth if there is not too much decay or damage.

How does the procedure work?
As with all treatments, we will make sure your mouth is clean and otherwise healthy. We will then administer a local anaesthetic to numb the area around the tooth we will work on. The next step is using a high-precision drill to remove decay and the old filling. We wash and dry the tooth by blowing water and then air utilising a tool which looks like a water pistol. We then carefully place the composite filling material into or onto the tooth and shape it. We accelerate the hardening process by shining a light beam at the treatment area inside your mouth and trimming and polishing the filling.

What are the benefits?
White fillings come in shades so that they can be matched to the colour of your natural teeth. The composite material used in white fillings is sticky, so it can be used to reshape and rebuild broken edges or worn teeth. It can also cover marks (discolouration) that can’t be removed by cleaning or teeth whitening. An added advantage is that a tooth needs less preparation for a white filling than a silver one.

White fillings are not as strong as silver fillings, so they may not be suitable for large fillings in back teeth. They also need very dry conditions, which can be hard to achieve at the back of your mouth. We will always do our best to fit a white filling wherever possible.

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