Your smile is an important part of who you are, and if it’s marred by the silver glint of metal, then it can make you feel self conscious. Luckily modern dental technology has given patients the option of choosing white cosmetic fillings to make natural looking functional fillings a reality.
What are white fillings?
White fillings are also known as composite fillings and come in a wide range of tooth colours which can be matched to the exact shade of your own teeth. They’re typically used for minor dental procedures such as:
- Closing gaps between teeth
- Replacing metal or amalgam fillings
- Reshaping short or worn teeth
- Tooth decay and filling cavities
Made from a mixture of glass and acrylic resins together with a setting agent, this tooth coloured material will blend in with your other teeth for a uniform look while protecting against further decay and damage. It’s also considered by many to be safer than amalgam fillings which contain mercury along with other metals.
The composite filling procedure
Carried out in a similar fashion to that of an amalgam filling, the dentist will usually numb the area first to prevent you from feeling any discomfort. A small drill is then used to remove any decay or weakened tooth structure. This is followed by cleaning the tooth with a mixture of water and air. The tooth is then dried and mild acid is used to etch the surface to help the filling material adhere to the tooth.
The tooth is then coated with a special gel before the composite material is applied. This may be built up in several layers to achieve the correct shape and texture. A bright light is used to activate and harden the composite filling, after which it’s polished and buffed to give a smooth shiny appearance.
Advantages of white fillings
- Not as noticeable than amalgam fillings because they blend in with other teeth
- Less of the tooth structure has to be removed for preparation compared with silver amalgam fillings
- The bonding process also helps maintain weaker areas of the tooth
When you next need a tooth filling it’s good to know you can still smile with confidence – just talk to us about your filling preference.
Please note our General Dentistry services are only available in Manchester.