Teeth can become damaged due to decay or trauma and need repairing to restore strength and structure and to prevent bacteria from entering the tooth where they may cause infection.
White fillings are used to repair small to medium-sized cavities in back teeth, and to mend cavities or chips and cracks in front teeth. They are made from tooth coloured composite resin that is able to withstand a moderate level of pressure during chewing and these restorations are quite durable. Composite resin comes in many different shades and even translucencies, so it is possible to closely match your fillings to your natural teeth, creating a restoration that is just about invisible.
What is the Procedure for a White Filling?
Our dentist at Enfield Dental Practice will only need to remove the damaged area of your tooth, preserving the maximum amount of healthy tooth structure and treatment can be completed in one visit. Once the cavity is prepared, the area is thoroughly dried before the filing material is placed in small increments; we will often use several different colours to get an exact match to your tooth shade. The composite is hardened using a special light before being shaped and polished so it has a natural sheen.
White fillings should last for several years before they need replacing but we will check the condition at every dental examination.
Larger cavities may not be suitable for “instant” white filling or composite resin as it is known in the industry. This is because composite resin is not strong in big cavities and may leak, leading to decay. In these larger cavities, patients are generally offered a choice of composite resin for a low cost short term filling, amalgam or silver filling, or a cast ceramic filling.
Cast ceramic fillings need to be made over 2 appointments, much like a crown.
The cavity is cleaned and shaped, a mould is taken, a temporary plastic filling is placed in the hole and the final ceramic filling is made in a laboratory over a week period.
Finally the finished ceramic filling is bonded into the cavity. Although ceramic fillings look great and are durable, they are more expensive than amalgam or composite fillings. Our dentist can discuss with you the relative pros and cons of each type of filling and provide price estimates after examining the tooth concerned.