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Everything You Need To Know About White Fillings

By Expert Author: Karen McDonagh

In the past, teeth were most commonly repaired with amalgam silver fillings or gold restorations. But amalgam contains mercury and gold is only 6% gold. Having metal fillings may mean they last a long time but they are not so great if they contain toxins or create electrical currents in your teeth.

Thanks to advances in dental materials and techniques, teeth can be restored with white fillings called composite. Using a white filling means we can provide you with a great looking filling that has a natural appearance and contains no metals.

But be aware not all white fillings were created equal - some contain fluoride or BPA and some just are downright cheap and nasty which means they don't wear well and can easily discolour.

Direct Composite

The most simple form of white filling is called a Composite. It is made up of a mixture of quartz and resin and contains a light sensitive agent which we activate with a special light to make the filling set. These light cured composite white fillings are extremely cosmetic and can be bonded into place in one appointment.

At first these were used only in the front teeth and now due to great advances in technology are suitable and strong enough to use in your back teeth. These materials come in a variety of shades so that we can get the best match to the colour of your own teeth which is really great if you are after the best cosmetic result.

In order to bond a filling to your tooth it is necessary to remove decay and have a clean, dry surface to work with. We prepare the tooth and condition the enamel and dentine. Once conditioned, a thin resin is applied to the prepared surface which allows the white filling to adhere/bond to your tooth. The bond strength of these fillings is incredible and has improved tremendously over the last few years.

After placement, composite white fillings are hardened by shining an intense light on them, so once the filling is placed you can treat it normally almost immediately as it is fully set and ready to use.

Your teeth may experience some degree of temperature sensitivity for a few days to a couple of weeks after having a white filling, this is considered quite normal.

However, if sensitivity does not disappear within that period of time we recommend you contact the dentist as it could be a sign that your filling may need a fine bite adjustment or that your tooth may need further treatment.

Karen McDonagh is a proud contributing author and writes articles on several subjects including Dental CPD. For more information please visit here.

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