If you had dental fillings done many years ago, they are most probably amalgam fillings. Previously dentists favoured these silver-coloured fillings for their durability and strength. However, the dark colour of amalgam fillings draw attention to the inside of your mouth and the fact that you have had your cavities fixed in the past. From afar, the dark coloured fillings can resemble holes that, ironically, make your tooth look decayed.
Thanks to advancements in dental materials, today’s dentists are able to replace your amalgam fillings with a robust tooth-coloured filling material. White fillings, as they are commonly known, can make your filled-in tooth look natural, like it was never damaged by cavities.
White fillings contain a mixture of plastic and glass that can blend in with the colour of your surrounding teeth. Not only are they less noticeable in your mouth as compared to metal fillings, cosmetic dentists also use this composite filling material to mask any dental imperfections you may have such as staining or chips. The composite material bonds to the tooth – while supporting the existing tooth structure – to prevent it from decay and further damage. Many patients have found composite fillings to reduce tooth sensitivity to hot and cold foods and beverages. Although composite fillings are more expensive than amalgam ones, they are considerably cheaper compared to gold fillings. Some insurance companies may cover the cost of fillings, but much depends on the type of coverage you have.
White Fillings Procedure is Straightfoward
The procedure for white fillings is very straightforward and simple. It can usually be done in a single appointment. The cosmetic dentist usually starts by selecting the composite resin colour based on the shade that best matches the rest of your teeth. After your tooth has been prepared, the dentist will fill your cavities by applying the composite material in layers. A high intensity light will be used to harden the material as each layer is applied. To achieve the right form and aesthetic look, the cosmetic practitioner will shape and curve the tooth-coloured resin, before polishing the restoration to give it a shiny finish. Polishing the filling also prevents it from staining.
White Fillings Are Good For Health Reasons
White fillings are not only preferred for their cosmetic appearance but also for health reasons. One important health benefit is that they are free of mercury. The silver-coloured dental amalgam is not a true alloy. Amalgams consist of 50% or more mercury content, in addition to other ingredients like silver, copper, tin and a trace of zinc.
Most of us have had fillings done in our lifetime so with this great alternative on the market you may want to consider replacing your amalgam fillings with the white composite fillings.
If you are interested to find out more about White Fillings make an appointment to speak with Dr Luke Cronin at Quality Dental in North Sydney. Call us on (02) 9922159.