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A filling replaces part of a tooth that has been lost because of decay or accidental damage. All fillings are toothcoloured, carefully selected to match the original shade and shape of the tooth.
A filling will normally be carried out under local anaesthetic. The affected area will be cleared of decay or loose filling, the tooth will be washed and dried. Then the filling will be inserted and smoothed off before a bright light is applied to set the filling. The filling will then be trimmed off and polished.
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 they 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. We can advise you on the life expectancy of your fillings.
Is it worth replacing my amalgam fillings with white ones?
It is usually best to change fillings only when we decide that an old filling needs replacing. If so you can ask to have it replaced in a tooth-coloured material. We sometimes 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.
Are there any alternatives to fillings?
There are alternatives such as crowns and inlays although they can cost a lot more. Veneers can be used on front teeth instead of crowns or fillings.