Fillings are one of the most routine dental procedures which most dentists will perform every day.
There is now, with the advance in dental technology, a much more diverse range of fillings available to choose from than there ever has been in the past. White fillings are often more expensive than standard metal fillings and most dentists would only recommend the extra cost for a very visible cavity.
Amalgam fillings are the traditional type that are usually black in colour. They are made from an amalgamation of a number of different metals which usually include tin, silver, copper and mercury - hence the colour. While amalgams are not the most visually attractive option for filling a cavity, they have the advantage of being very durable. This means that they can withstand the constant demands of chewing or tooth-grinding without breaking down or coming loose.
Amalgams may appear to have their plus points however, there is also one very important negative issue surrounding amalgams. Many people are against amalgam fillings because they contain mercury - which is very toxic to the human body.
This is why at Falkirk Dental Care we provide other options for filling cavities. You may be surprised by how many choices you have. Although they are more expensive than the cheaper amalgam option, you can talk to your dentist about composite resins, glass or ceramic fillings - none of which contain mercury.
It is possible to have your old amalgam fillings replaced. Once again, talk to your dentist who will be able to explain much more about the procedure. There is a standard protocol involved which will ensure that the mercury is kept bonded within the amalgam while it is removed - ensuring that the filling can be replaced safely.
There are three types of Dental Fillings available;
- Amalgam (Metal) Fillings,
- Resin and Glass based Fillings (White),
- and Porcelain Fillings (also White).
- Category: Fillings
White Composite Fillings
White fillings are indirect dental composites made from acrylic resin that comes in different tooth shades of whiteness and are artistically moulded as dental fillings for cavities in teeth.Direct dental composite may be used to restore small gaps in teeth. White fillings can also be used in reshaping teeth and in smile makeovers to enhance facial beauty.
A dental filling is any material that restores the normal shape and function of a tooth which has a portion missing due to decay or fracture. Most front teeth and some back teeth are filled with tooth-coloured material known as composite. It is made of plastic, quartz, and other fillers that give it strength and shine. Dental composite bonding is a popular choice for fillings because the material can match the shade, translucency and even the texture of your own natural teeth and provides a much better result than amalgam/silver fillings which can be unsightly when you smile.
A properly placed composite filling will last for years provided it is maintained with good oral hygiene and regular professional cleanings.
Composite is best used in small cavities. When it is used to fill back teeth in place of the more common silver amalgam fillings, it is less durable. When more than one-half of the tooth is missing, when some or all of the biting edge of a front tooth is missing, or when one of the cusps (points) of a back tooth is missing, a crown (cap) should be considered instead of composite. Crowns are stronger and will withstand greater chewing forces than composite. Experience has also shown that a small percentage of people will experience some hypersensitivity to this material, especially when it is used to fill back teeth. In these rare instances, removal of the composite filling and replacement with a different material may be necessary and additional costs may result.
White Fillings - The Positives
- The composite filling material contains only acrylic resin and glass particles, no mercury.
- The tooth coloured filling material matches your tooth colour for a natural finish
- This type of filling material is already hard when you leave the dental practice.
- Less tooth structure is lost because the dentist can make a smaller preparation
White Fillings - The NEGATIVES
- The composite filling material is more expensive
- Composite fillings can stain over a period of time depending factors such as tea, coffee and smoking
- These fillings do not get whiter if you bleach your teeth
- Composite fillings are strong on back teeth, but not as strong as amalgam
- Category: Fillings
Dental amalgam is a dental filling material used to fill cavities caused by tooth decay. It has been used for more than 150 years in hundreds of millions of patients.
Dental amalgam is a mixture of metals, consisting of liquid mercury and a powdered alloy composed of silver, tin, and copper. Approximately 50% of dental amalgam is elemental mercury by weight.
Dental amalgam fillings are also known as silver fillings because of their silver-like appearance.
When placing dental amalgam, the dentist first drills the tooth to remove the decay and then shapes the tooth cavity for placement of the amalgam filling. Next, under appropriate safety conditions, the dentist uses a device that mixes the powdered alloy with the liquid mercury to form an amalgam putty.
These components are provided to the dentist in a capsule. This softened amalgam putty is placed in the prepared cavity, where it hardens into a solid filling.
Amalgam Fillings - The Positives
- Because of the metal content, amalgam fillings are very strong and can withstand heavy biting pressure, therefore, used primarily for the back teeth
- Amalgam filling material is relatively inexpensive
Amalgam Fillings - The NEGATIVES
- Amalgam filling material contains mercury and other metals. While there have been no conclusive studies relating the mercury in amalgam to any dangers, mercury by itself is very toxic
- Some people experience a period of hot and cold sensitivity after having an amalgam filling
- More tooth structure is lost because the dentist has to make a bigger preparation
- Category: Fillings
Porcelain Fillings (White)
If you have areas of enamel affected by decay, porcelain fillings are a great way to protect and strengthen your teeth.At Falkirk Dental Care our fillings are metal-free to give you the most natural smile appearance possible.
The porcelain we use is of a high quality and reflects light beautifully, very much like natural enamel does. By offering a filling material that is biocompatible and can be matched to your tooth shade, we feel you are getting the most value for your restoration cost. Unlike metal fillings, porcelain fillings are not affected by hot and cold temperatures, so there is no risk of fracture from temperature changes.
Here are a few additional advantages of porcelain fillings:
- Porcelain fillings can last a lifetime with proper care.
- The porcelain material we use actually bonds with your natural enamel.
- Porcelain creates a strong surface when bonded to enamel.
- Porcelain can be coloured to blend in well with your tooth shade.
- Porcelain acts as a sealant on enamel, reducing your chances for decay in the specific filling area.
- Porcelain is a very subtle way to enhance your smile without drawing attention.
- Porcelain can be used to replace metal fillings that have become worn or are inhibiting your smile appearance.
- Our fillings are crafted with CEREC Dental Technology for a one-visit treatment.
The price of dental fillings can vary depending on the materials and the size of the filling required. Prices TBC
A video about Dental Fillings can be viewed by clicking on the link TBC
- Category: Fillings