White composite fillings
What are white fillings?
Composite fillings- more commonly referred to as white fillings- are a strong and durable alternative to silver-coloured amalgam fillings. They are made from a composite resin, blending in beautifully with your tooth. Done properly and matched with your individual tooth shade, it should be difficult to tell that you’ve had a filling done. Even up close!
What are the advantages of white fillings?
The biggest advantage to patients is the fact that the fillings look cosmetically better. The composite material is tooth-coloured and seamlessly blends with your tooth.
Preparing the cavity is more conservative than that done for a silver filling. Less tooth structure is removed before we fill the tooth.
The composite fillings bond directly to the tooth, which makes the tooth stronger than it would be with a silver fillings.
White fillings can be used to replace unsightly silver fillings.
By choosing a white filling, you reduce the use of metallic restoration, containing mercury.
Are silver (amalgam) fillings safe?
Amalgam fillings – also known as mercury or silver fillings – have been used for decades, but in recent years health concerns have been raised, prompting research into their safety. In the UK, amalgam fillings are banned for children under 15, pregnant and breastfeeding women.
Although the silver fillings can release tiny amounts of mercury vapour, there is currently no evidence to state that this small amount is harmful to your health.
However, amalgam fillings are now being phased out in the UK as part of the Minamata Convention, which aims to reduce the amount of mercury in the environment. Some countries such as Sweden and Norway have already banned the use of silver fillings for dental procedures.
Should I consider replacing amalgam fillings?
Amalgam fillings don’t last indefinitely, and they may wear out or ‘shrink’ and need replacing. Otherwise, gaps can appear, allowing sugars and bacteria to infiltrate your tooth and cause further decay.
During your regular check-ups, your dentist should keep an eye on your fillings. If you notice that they’re starting to lose their shine and turn darker, this is a sign that they may need replacing.