If your dental practitioner notices caries (decay) in a tooth or a deficiency with one of your existing restorations (fillings), they will advise restoring the cavity with either an amalgam (silver) filling or a tooth coloured/white filling. Your dentist will provide you with an estimate of your dental treatment costs for both options, from which you can decide your ideal treatment.
What is the difference between silver and white fillings?
Both materials are now comparable in longevity and strength. The difference in your mouth is cosmetic appearance (aesthetics). In situations where a cavity is small, an adhesive tooth coloured filling may be the ideal choice, but these can also be used in medium sized cavities on front or back teeth.
Amalgam (silver) fillings are suited to medium to large sized cavities. If you would prefer a tooth coloured filling in a larger cavity your dental practitioner may advise you to consider an
Fillings are available in silver which is composed of mercury, silver, tin and other metals known as amalgam.
Amalgam does not bond or stick to teeth and relies on there being enough tooth to hold the filling in.
White fillings (tooth coloured fillings) are a more modern dental material and these can bond to tooth material and match the colour, texture and shape of your teeth.
What will happen during my filling appointment – will it hurt?
Your dentist will ensure that you feel no discomfort during your dental treatment session by the use of special anaesthetic gels and dental anaesthetics to numb your tooth. Your Dentist will then remove the decay or old filling, prepare the tooth to accept the filling, and then place and shape the restoration using the latest bonding techniques and tooth coloured materials (if a cosmetic option is chosen).
Tooth Coloured Fillings
Tooth Coloured Restoration/Fillings
For many years the placement of amalgam (silver fillings) into tooth cavities/holes has been common place and as a result many of us have discoloured teeth due to these amalgam fillings. In recent years importance has been placed on restoring our teeth to their natural state, and changing these fillings to new tooth coloured restorations.
Here at Ideal Dental Care, the removal of old amalgam fillings for new cosmetic tooth coloured restorations is a simple solution to improving your smile. Often amalgam fillings can give the tooth a greyish appearance which darkens the smile. If you have maintained a healthy smile for many years, and have no amalgam fillings, then a white tooth coloured filling will ensure the aesthetics of your smile remains at its best.
Tooth Coloured Fillings for Front Teeth
Tooth coloured fillings or composites are composed of plastic and fine glass particles, this makes them perfect for restoring chipped or decayed teeth at the front of the mouth. The benefits of these restorations are that they restore shine, texture and shape to front teeth and are unnoticable to those around you.
Tooth Coloured Fillings for Back Teeth
At the back of the mouth where amalgam/silver fillings are very noticable, tooth coloured fillings can make a dramatic difference to their appearance. Composites are suitable for small to medium size cavities, large cavities in back teeth are more suited to a tooth coloured inlay. Your dentist will advise you on what type of white filling is better suited to you.
Tooth Coloured Filling Procedure
Your dentist may anaesthetise (numb) the tooth and will remove all dental caries (dental decay) or existing amalgam/silver fillings in readiness for placement of the tooth coloured restoration. The white filling material is bonded to the cavity and a blue light is shone onto the material to set it. After your tooth coloured filling has been placed, your dentist will then smooth and contour the filling to ensure you can bite together comfortably and your tooth looks natural.
Tooth Coloured Filling Aftercare
Occasionally, you may experience some sensitivity to hot/cold food and drinks after your filling has been placed. This should subside in the following weeks, and once settled you will have to maintain the restoration by regular brushing, flossing and avoidance of too much sugar in your diet. If the sensitivity persists, it is advisable to return to your dentist for further advice.