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White Fillings

White fillings, or composite resin fillings, are a great way for people to hide the fact that they ever had a cavity in the first place. Made from a combination of glass and plastic tooth-coloured materials, they are designed for aesthetic dental restorations while also serving to restore natural tooth function and maintain oral hygiene.

Benefits of White Fillings

As well as filling dental cavities and root canals, white fillings are also frequently used to restore broken, chipped or worn down teeth. Compared to traditional ‘black’ amalgam fillings, they offer patients a number of substantial benefits:

  • Colour matched – Formulated to resemble the natural colour and lustre of existing teeth, making the camouflaged filling undetectable to onlookers.
  • Metal-free – Made from a 100 per cent metal-free mixture, white fillings contain no potentially harmful mercury and can be shaped to replicate a natural tooth.
  • More support – Less tooth structure is removed when preparing the filling and it is chemically bonded to the tooth, providing increased support.
  • Reduced sensitivity – Metal is a thermal conductor and patients with black fillings can have a sensitive reaction to hot and cold foods or beverages. Sensitivity is not usually a problem with white fillings.

Composite White Fillings: The Modern Alternative to Amalgam Fillings

It is little wonder that white tooth fillings are catching on as the modern alternative to amalgam fillings, also known as silver fillings or mercury fillings. The most obvious reason has to be that amalgam fillings look unsightly in the mouth. The dark silver colour of amalgam fillings draw unnecessary attention to the fact that you have had a filling done. Composite fillings, on the other hand, help to restore the natural appearance of the tooth by blending in seamlessly with the rest of the teeth, so no one has to know about your dental history.

Other considerations that favour the white composite option over amalgam fillings can fit under two major categories: Its advanced treatment procedure as well as a potential health risk that hangs over amalgam (a.k.a. mercury) fillings. Due to these considerations, many patients have opted to replace their amalgam fillings with white fillings.

Let’s study the three main benefits of composite fillings in more detail:

  • The Beauty Factor

    The silver appearance of amalgam fillings comes from the liquid metal that is used to fill the cavity, usually after a dentist has removed the plaque from the tooth. When the amalgam hardens on the repaired tooth, its silver colour resembles a dark spot that sharply contrasts with the other teeth. For this reason, some dentists only recommend amalgam fillings when it involves teeth that are hidden from view in the back of the mouth. By comparison, the white composite material is far more aesthetic. Since it has a similar shade as that of your natural teeth, white fillings are virtually undetectable in your mouth. In the hands of an experienced cosmetic dentist, the repaired tooth would look like new to regain your beautiful smile.

  • The Mercury Factor

    Dental amalgams consist mainly of mercury, which being a toxic substance makes the practice of filling cavities with amalgam questionable at best. Not only can amalgam fillings emit mercury vapours into the mouth, they may also break down during grinding, releasing dust particles that may be absorbed into the saliva. Being a highly toxic substance, high doses of mercury exposure is known to trigger health problems, including kidney failure and neurological damage. To avoid these risks, people with existing amalgam fillings can consider undergoing a safe amalgam removal process and replace them with composite fillings.

  • Preferred Advanced Treatment

    It should be said that not all dentists offer white fillings as a new form of dental treatment for cavities. The reason is simple: Not all dentists are qualified – or have acquired the necessary skills – to perform this advanced procedure. Although composite fillings have been around since the 1960s, the modern iteration of the white composite procedure has made the new fillings much stronger and durable, while still retaining its aesthetic characteristics.

    Today’s composite fillings can withstand high stress loads and are more resistant to fracture – making them suitable for filling cavities in a back tooth as well. The advanced bonding procedure also means white fillings require less removal of your healthy tooth structure, as opposed to amalgam fillings. This technique also reinforces the original strength of the tooth structure.

Contact our professional team today to schedule an appointment if you are experiencing any toothaches or sensitivities. Our friendly and experienced team look forward to assisting you with keeping your teeth and gums in top shape.

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