White Fillings

Many patients at Balls Road Dental Practice like to be given the option of white fillings. At the front of the mouth white fillings are provided as standard but for large fillings at the back of the mouth, amalgam is sometimes still the most effective material. Your dentist can explain the pros and cons of different filling materials so that you can make the choice that’s right for you.

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Tooth coloured fillings or composite fillings are often preferred by patients who want to avoid amalgam or who want a natural, clean and pleasing smile. Amalgam fillings are still a perfectly acceptable option but if you don’t want your fillings to show, a composite resin material that bonds directly to the tooth may be better.

Advantages of white fillings over amalgam fillings:

  • Because the composite filling bonds directly to the tooth, less tooth structure needs to be removed by drilling. White fillings are a more conservative option.

  • White fillings very closely match your own teeth and are often almost completely invisible.

  • Repairs of white fillings are sometimes easier than amalgam fillings due to the property of bonding.

  • Small gaps between teeth (diastema) can be closed by bonding composite to the teeth either side of the gap.

  • Small modifications to the size and shape of teeth can be achieved by bonding composite.

Disadvantages of white fillings:

  • It can take longer to place composite fillings. Also, there must be very good moisture control when placing the restoration and this can be difficult or impossible to achieve in certain areas of the mouth.

  • The composite filling material is not always strong enough for large restorations or in areas where there is a heavy load being placed on the tooth. In these instances, amalgam fillings, crowns or inlays may be preferred.

  • Sensitivity following filling placement is more likely with composite.

  • White fillings at the back of the mouth are not generally available on the NHS and so will be provided on a private basis. However, amalgam is not used for pregnant or breastfeeding women or for children under the age of 15.