Fillings are a form of restoration used to strengthen the teeth and prevent further decay. In the past, patients were restricted to metal fillings, but these were highly visible and the issue of safety has been raised in recent years. White tooth-coloured fillings are a great alternative designed to blend in with natural tooth colour.
White fillings are preferable to mercury amalgam fillings not only for aesthetic reasons but also for the long-term health of your teeth. They are made from special composite material, which is moulded to the shape of the cavity and matches the natural shade of the teeth. White fillings can also be used to improve the aesthetics of the smile as part of a smile makeover.
White fillings are recommended for patients with small cavities and those in need of an aesthetically-pleasing alternative to amalgam fillings. For larger cavities, inlays or onlays may be recommended but your dentist will discuss alternate treatment options if necessary.
The tooth with the cavity will be cleaned in order to remove all bacteria and debris. The tooth will then be prepared with a liquid to create the perfect surface for the filling to bond with. The dentist will then mould the tooth-coloured composite material to the shape of your tooth, filling in the hole to make the tooth complete again. The material will be set using a special lamp that hardens the composite.
White fillings are often used when part of a tooth is exposed so you may require anaesthetic to numb the mouth and prevent pain. After the anaesthetic is administered, you will feel nothing for the duration of the treatment.
The length of treatment depends on the number of fillings needed, but generally, the filling can be fitted in approximately twenty minutes using the latest technology available. Your dentist will give you a clear timeframe during a consultation.
They strengthen teeth that have weakened as a result of decay and help to reduce the risk of further decay by restoring functionality. White fillings are preferable to metal fillings because they blend in with the natural shade of teeth and patients have no need to worry about them leaking, which is a problem with metal fillings.
White fillings do not last as long as metal fillings and are unable to provide the necessary restoration for large cavities. However, in such cases inlays, onlays and crowns may be used to achieve the desired result.