Cosmetic Dentistry » White Fillings
A considerable option to improve the cosmetic look of your smile and make it more bright and attractive is to get your conventional silver amalgam (metal coloured) fillings replaced by the tooth-coloured or 'white fillings.'
You may wonder what are white fillings?
White fillings are also popularly known as composite fillings.
These fillings will allow you to smile without a metallic glint in sight, giving your teeth a more natural appearance overall and almost an invisible restoration.
These fillings use liquid mercury and a metal alloy mixture to fill the cavities or gaps caused by dental caries/tooth decay.
A typical amalgam filling is made up of mercury (50%), silver (~22–32%), tin (~14%), copper (~8%), and some other trace metals.
It is a silver-grey mass condensed in the cavities and allowed to harden.
These are now readily being replaced by white or tooth-coloured fillings, which give you a natural-looking makeover.
What are white fillings made of?
The white fillings for teeth are composed of 3 major components-
- Resin Matrix: It forms a constant phase and blends all the filler particles.
- Coupling Agents: It is the agent that facilitates adhesion between fillers and resin matrix.
- Inorganic Fillers: These are the most essential components of white fillings, consisting of reinforcing fibres or particles dispersed in the resin matrix.
These are made of either Quartz, silica, or glasses.
Such a chemical configuration makes these fillings tough and enables them to withstand the forces in your mouth when you chew or bite for a long duration.
Types of white tooth fillings:
- Macro-Filled: Filler type is Quartz.
Particle size is: 10-25μm
Filler content is about 70-80% by weight
- Micro-Filled: Filler type is Fused silica
Particle size is: 0.03-0.5μm
Filler content is: 40-50%
- Hybrid: Filler content is 75-80%
Particle size is 0.5- 1.00μm, which is why it is called a hybrid.
- Nano Filled: Nanosized particles are added in this which are approximately 100 times smaller than the thickness of a human hair.
The time required for the procedure:
A white cavity filling is a safe procedure that entails one of our dentists removing any decay from your tooth, taking out the metal or amalgam filling, and placing a tooth coloured filling instead.
A dental filling is a common and relatively straightforward procedure and requires one hour on average.
- A few investigations are done before the procedure to assess the status of the patient and also his/her suitability for the provision of anaesthesia.
- An X-ray of the dental cavity may be done to check the extent of the decay or the spread of decay to any surrounding area.
- Then topical followed by local anaesthesia is given to the patient. After this, our dentist drills through the enamel to teeth and prepares the area for filling. Subsequently, the filling is done and is polished to make sure the contour is proper.
- All these procedures will require an average of 1hour. However, depending on the number and size of the teeth to be filled, it may also vary.
- Some composite fillings are personalised for the patient and prepared from impressions. In such a case, the patient will require a second visit to us, to bond the filling onto the tooth.
The time required for tooth filling to set:
Composites fillings set in approximately 1-2 mm thick layers.
The time taken for each layer to set is about 2-20 seconds.
So, the total time for a filling to set will depend on the depth of your cavity.
White fillings vs. silver amalgam fillings:
- White teeth fillings were considered to be much less durable as compared to silver amalgam fillings, but recent advances have led to the development of white fillings, which are equally long-lasting as silver ones.
- While silver fillings superficially cover your cavities, white fillings are firmly bonded onto your teeth.
- White filling improves patient compliance as the patient can eat soon after the effect of anaesthesia is withdrawn, unlike silver filling, which requires the patient to be on a liquid diet for some time.
So if you are still in a dilemma whether you should choose white or silver fillings, our dentist will provide you with more comprehensive details regarding both.
Advantages of white fillings:
- Natural-looking: This is by far the most significant advantage of white composite fillings wherein they match the colour of the surrounding area tooth and exempts you from exhibiting the metallic glint while smiling.
- Strengthens Your Natural Teeth: The material used in white fillings not only fills the defect of your teeth but also bonds to the tooth to salvage its original strength.
- Prevents Sensitivity: The white fillings have a limited impact on the teeth's sensitivity to hot and cold items.
- Convenient: The hole made for white fillings are much smaller as compared to the hole made for filling silver amalgam.
Is it worth replacing silver fillings with white fillings?
The answer to this question is variable for different individuals.
Our dentist decides what best suits the patient.
Some dentists prefer not to use white fillings in molars and premolars as they are prone to wear very soon.
The secondary opinion is of the patient himself. If a patient demands the replacement with natural-looking filling, then it may be the preferred option.
It can vary to a great extent depending on the variety of filling used. The size of the cavity it fills also determines the expenses.
In general, white fillings are somewhat more costly as compared to the silver amalgam fillings.
How long do white fillings last?
If proper care and precautions are taken, a white filling on front teeth can last for a lifetime, but on molars and premolars, they last for an average of 10-15 years.
Recent advances in white dental fillings:
- Flowable Composites- They were specially designed to enhance the handling characteristics of existing composites based on the phenomenon of fluid injectibility.
- Packable Composites- This is a system composed of resin and ceramic components. They are based on a recently initiated concept called Polymer Rigid Inorganic Matrix Material (PRIMM)
- Antibacterial Composites: These are useful in preventing the buildup of bacteria and plaque on the surface of resin composites.
Silver is added to some composites to make them antibacterial.
If you are looking for white fillings in High Wycombe, then your perfect one-stop destination is Conway House. It's high time for removing silver fillings and replacing them with white and giving your smile a brighter and more brilliant look.
As dentists, we firmly believe that prevention is always better than cure and will motivate, encourage and help you to take adequate care of your teeth, so you don't develop tooth decay in the first place. If you do have decay and need to get it filled, then we recommend white fillings as the right solution that is both aesthetic and functional.
Patient care is our utmost priority, and we at Conway House Dental Practice will provide you with world-class quality care and services to give you healthy and strong teeth.