Tooth Coloured Fillings

Tooth Coloured Fillings

What are white fillings?

White fillings are made from a composite material (a type of reinforced plastic) and can be used to restore decay, cavities or chipped teeth. They can also be used to close small gaps between teeth and cosmetically improve the shape of certain teeth.

What are the advantages of white fillings?

They are natural looking, are usually coloured-matched to surrounding tooth and will not show when you laugh or smile. They are bonded to the tooth, usually require less tooth removal than other techniques and hence are minimally invasive. They can often also be repaired instead of replaced entirely.

Are they as good as silver fillings?

White fillings have always been considered less long lasting than silver fillings. However, there are now new materials available with properties comparable to silver amalgam and these are proving to be very successful. Many patients have had composite fillings intact for over 10 years. The life expectancy of a white filling depends on several factors such as your bite, how big the filling is and how well you look after and maintain your teeth. This is why it is important that you visit the dentist regularly for examinations to ensure that your fillings are still intact. White fillings can stain over time and wear down thus needing to be replaced.

Should my amalgam fillings be replaced with white ones?

We do not routinely do this as it is considered too destructive to tooth structure. It is usually best to change fillings only when your dentist decides that an old filling needs replacing. If so you can ask to have it replaced with a tooth-coloured material. Your dentist will advise you of the best course of action.