Home - General Dentistry - Fillings & Inlays

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White Fillings

White Fillings, which are also known as composite resins or porcelain inlays, allow teeth to be filled and rebuilt utilising more aesthetically acceptable materials such as composite resin or porcelain ceramic materials.

The main benefits of white fillings are the much improved appearance. Often after these fillings are placed, our patients are impressed with the way the filling material blends in so well with the original tooth structure that aesthetically the teeth appear much better. The second main benefit of these fillings is the use of modern materials which are more compatible with the teeth, their properties are similar to original tooth structure. White Fillings do not contain mercury and are an ideal choice for achieving long term strength in filled teeth. Teeth that are heavily filled with large silver amalgam or mercury fillings are at risk of fracturing because the tooth is spread apart by these traditional filling materials. These teeth can be rebuilt with porcelain inlays, which holds the tooth together as opposed to spreading it apart, preserving the remaining healthy tooth structure.

This allows teeth to be safely and aesthetically restored achieving a more attractive smile.

Amalgam (Silver) Fillings

Amalgam fillings are silver coloured. They are made by combining mercury and a silver alloy (50% mercury, 35% silver, 15% tin, copper and other metals). Amalgam is long lasting, hard wearing and economical to use. This kind of filling is normally used on the back 'chewing' teeth.

Before the filling can be placed, the area must be prepared by removing all the decay and shaping the cavity to hold the filling in place. If the tooth is badly broken, your dentist may need to place a small stainless steel pin to help secure the filling.

Why should I consider white fillings?

Most people have fillings of one sort or another in their mouths. Nowadays fillings are not only functional, but can be natural looking as well. Many people don't want silver fillings that show when they laugh or smile because they are more conscious about the way they look.

Are white fillings as good as silver amalgam fillings?

White fillings have always been considered less long lasting than silver amalgam fillings. But there are now new materials available with properties comparable to silver amalgam, and these are proving to be very successful. The life expectancy of a white filling can depend greatly on where it is in your mouth and how heavily your teeth come together when you bite. Your dentist can advise you on the life expectancy of your fillings. However, any fillings provided on the NHS are automatically guaranteed for one year.

Is it worth replacing my amalgam fillings with white ones?

It is usually best to change fillings only when your dentist decides that an old filling needs replacing. If so you can ask to have it replaced in a tooth-coloured material.

Some dentists prefer not to put white fillings in back teeth as they are not always successful. One way around this would be to use crowns or inlays, but this can mean removing more of the tooth and can be more expensive.

What are tooth-coloured fillings made of?

This can vary, but they are mainly made of glass particles, synthetic resin and a setting ingredient. Your dentist should be able to give you more information about the particular material they use.

Inlays

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Porcelain (tooth coloured) inlays and onlays are restorations placed usually on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth.

An inlay fits within the confines of the teeth. An onlay covers the entire chewing surface of the tooth. These can be made of either plastic resin or porcelain.

The procedure involves removing decayed tooth structure or old fillings, preparing the tooth cavity, taking an impression of the cavity to fabricate a custom-fit inlay or onlay. Two visits are required to complete the treatment.

We are currently offering a Free Consultation on all Cosmetic Treatment. For more information or to book now please click here.

 

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