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If you have a dental cavity, your dentist will need to repair it to stop the decay and prevent it from getting worse. This is done with a filling. Most NHS dentists will automatically use a silver filling made of metal alloy, more commonly known as an amalgam filling. Amalgam is efficient, long-lasting and the cheapest material available. However, when you throw back your head to give a big hearty laugh, your silver amalgam fillings will be clearly visible to all and sundry. And this is something that makes many people self-conscious.
What is a white filling?
White fillings are made of composite resin that also includes glass and porcelain or ceramic. When they first became popular there was a risk that the composite filling would shrink over time, but modern composite fillings are much more stable. White fillings can be coloured to match the shade of your teeth, providing a seamless finish that looks just like the surrounding natural tooth. This is the main reason they’re so popular, because people appear to have a very healthy set of teeth.
Advantages of white fillings
From a dentist’s point of view, a white filling is better because it enables them to preserve more of the healthy tooth structure than they can with an amalgam filling. With more of the original structure left intact, the tooth is stronger and more durable.
How long do white fillings last?
With proper care, your white fillings could last at least 10 years, possibly longer. Amalgam fillings generally last around 10 to 15 years.
Is there anything to be aware of with white fillings?
Fitting your white fillings is a slightly more complex process than fitting amalgam fillings. White fillings are bonded to your teeth, and it is crucial that the tooth is kept free of contamination and saliva while the filling is being fitted. The filling is built by adding layers and setting each one with a high-intensity light before adding the next layer. An amalgam filling is more forgiving as it is used to plug the hole rather than reinforce the tooth.
How much is a white filling?
Because the fitting process takes slightly longer and is more intensive, white fillings are more expensive than amalgam ones. However, prices will vary depending on the size and location of the cavity. So, the answer to the question ‘are white fillings worth it?’ is for you to decide. There are pros and cons to both white fillings and silver amalgam fillings. As a cosmetic dental practice, we choose composite white (tooth-coloured) fillings for their aesthetic value and use them as a standard part of our general dentistry services.
If you would like to discuss any aspect of cosmetic dentistry including white fillings, contact us to book a free initial consultation. We are located in Central London near Harley Street and offer different payment plan options as well as 0% finance.