White fillings, otherwise known as composite fillings, can be an excellent, cost-effective treatment option for damaged teeth. More cosmetically pleasing than once-popular amalgam (metal) fillings, they also have several other benefits.
What are white fillings?
Composite fillings are a popular, effective treatment for many dental problems, such as:
Repairing chipped, cracked or discoloured teeth
Improving the look of discoloured or oddly-shaped teeth
Replace defective or unsightly amalgam fillings
What are the benefits of white fillings?
White fillings are often used to replace old metal fillings due to their numerous advantages, including:
Less sensitive to temperature
Ability to better restore the original strength of a tooth by bonding to the tooth, preventing long term fractures
Less tooth is removed during filling preparation compared to amalgam fillings
Aesthetic properties – mask permanent stains, close gaps and reshape teeth
White fillings can be a very good solution for smaller areas of decay, cracks or aesthetic issues, though they still have limitations. For larger areas of breakdown, high cosmetic demand or impact areas, porcelain work such as a crown or veneer may be recommended. Your dentist will diagnose and help you decide which treatment option is best for your individual case.
Should I replace my old amalgam fillings with composite ones?
If you had fillings put in years ago, they were almost certainly fabricated from a metal amalgam containing mercury, tin, copper and silver. These metal fillings were once very common and considered durable and strong.
Unfortunately, because they are ‘packed’ into the tooth instead of bonded, they can lead to fractures and splitting due to the force of your bite and general tooth use.
Due to this, as well as environmental concerns, composite fillings have since been developed as a superior alternative. White fillings are bonded to the tooth, which allows your dentist to be more conservative and remove less of your natural tooth. Aside from the greatly lessened chance of fractures or splitting, white fillings also camouflage well within a tooth.
If you still have old amalgam fillings from years ago, we recommend having one of our dentists check them out. We’ll do a thorough examination to see if any decay has set in underneath the filling and make sure it’s still in working order. Often, if there are cracks present, no pain or discomfort is felt until the tooth fully breaks or splits. This is why regular check-ups are so important – an absence of pain is not always a sign that all is well. If we deem replacement necessary, we’ll thoroughly go over all treatment options with you before taking any action.
What is involved in filling a tooth?
The first step involves numbing the area around the tooth so that no pain or discomfort is felt. Then we use specialised equipment to remove all signs of decay and clean the area of bacteria and debris.
Composite material is then placed one layer at a time, with each layer cured by a special light. Once this process is finished, we shape and polish the filling so it sits naturally within the tooth. By the end, you won’t be able to tell the difference between the filling and your tooth.
Early detection is vital when it comes to fillings
By the time you are aware of an issue, it has often grown to become quite extensive. We always recommend regular check-ups so our dentists can diagnose issues in their infancy. Early detection can be the difference between a small treatment and something more invasive, such as a root canal.
A tooth can deteriorate quite quickly once decay has set in. As soon as you suspect an issue with your teeth or gums, it’s vital that you make an appointment with one of our dentists. Teeth that have become significantly compromised may require additional support, such as porcelain onlays or crowns. While these treatment options are stronger last significantly longer than composite fillings, they are also more expensive.
Flexible payment options
Even though it’s the weekend, we still offer our amazingly flexible payment options. As on any weekday, you can pay for your Saturday dental treatment with Zip Money. Dental treatments aren’t a luxury purchase, and it’s best to get that toothache sorted as soon as possible. With Zip Money, the benefits include: