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Fillings are a form of restoration used to strengthen teeth and prevent further decay. In the past, patients were restricted to metal fillings, but these were highly visible and the issue of safety has been raised in recent years. White tooth-coloured fillings are a great alternative designed to blend in with natural tooth colour.
White fillings are preferable to mercury amalgam fillings not only for aesthetic reasons, but also for the long-term health of your teeth. They are made from specially formulated composite material, which is moulded to the shape of the cavity and matches the natural shade of the teeth. White fillings can also be used to improve the aesthetics of the smile as part of a smile makeover.
Do I need a White Filling?
White fillings are recommended for patients with small cavities and those in need of an aesthetically-pleasing alternative to amalgam fillings. For larger cavities, inlays or onlays may be recommended but your dentist will discuss alternate treatment options if a white filling is found to be unsuitable.
What does the White filling procedure entail?
Firstly, the tooth with the cavity will be cleaned in order to remove all bacteria and debris from the tooth. After this your tooth will be prepared with a liquid to create the perfect surface for the filling to bond with. The dentist will then mould the tooth-coloured composite material to the shape of your tooth, filling in the hole and make the tooth complete again. The material will be set by means of a special lamp that hardens the composite.
Does having a White filling hurt?
White fillings are often used when part of a tooth is exposed and so you will require anaesthetic to numb the mouth to prevent pain. This aspect will be the only discomfort and you will feel nothing for the duration of the treatment. Fitting a filling only takes around 20 minutes and more than one filling can be fitted in a session if your dentist feels it is suitable.
How long does White Filling treatment take?
The length of treatment depends on the amount of treatment needed, but generally the filling can be completed in a couple of hours using the latest technology available. Your dentist will give you a clear timeframe during a consultation.
What are the benefits of White Fillings?
They strengthen teeth that have weakened as a result of decay and help to reduce the risk of further decay by restoring functionality. White fillings are preferable to metal fillings because they blend in with the natural shade of teeth and patients needn't worry about them leaking, which is problem with metal fillings.
Disadvantages of White Fillings
White fillings do not last as long as metal fillings and are unable to provide the necessary restoration for large cavities. However, in such cases inlays, onlays and crowns can be used instead for proper tooth restoration.
Cost of White Fillings
Prices may vary depending on the size and number of fillings you require. These are matters which will need to be discussed with the dentist during a consultation. Patients can generally expect to pay £70 for a white filling.