White fillings, also known as Composite fillings, are an excellent cost-effective option for treating damaged teeth. They are more cosmetically pleasing than the previously the previously common metal (amalgam) fillings and have several other benefits.
What are white fillings?
Composite fillings are an effective and common treatment for many dental issues, such as:
Repairing chipped, cracked or discoloured teeth
Improving the look of discoloured or oddly-shaped teeth
Replace defective or unsightly amalgam fillings
What are the benefits of white fillings?
White fillings are a common replacement for old amalgam fillings due to their many advantages, including:
Less sensitive to temperature
Ability to better restore the original strength of a tooth by bonding to the tooth, preventing long term fractures
Less tooth is removed during filling preparation compared to amalgam fillings
Aesthetic properties – mask permanent stains, close gaps and reshape teeth
White fillings are a great solution for small areas of decay, fractures or aesthetic issues, but they still have their limitations. For larger areas of breakdown, high-impact areas or for high aesthetic demand, porcelain crowns or veneers may be more appropriate. Your dentist will diagnose and determine with you the best treatment option for your particular case.
Should I replace my old amalgam fillings with new composite fillings?
If you had fillings put in years ago, they were most likely made from a metal amalgam containing mercury, silver, tin and copper. These fillings used to be common and were thought to be durable and strong.
Instead of being bonded to the tooth, metal fillings are ‘packed’ into the space. This means that, over time, the force of your bite and general use of your teeth have a high chance of forming cracks in the tooth and parts of the tooth splitting or fracturing.
The prevalence of amalgam fillings has reduced in recent times due to environmental concerns and composite fillings have since been developed in their place. Composite fillings are bonded, or stuck, to the tooth, which allows your dentist to be more conservative and remove less of the original tooth. It also means there is less chance of cracking and fracturing. White fillings also camouflage well within the tooth structure.
If you still have old metal fillings, we recommend you have one of our dentists check their condition. We’ll do a thorough examination to ensure decay hasn’t set in underneath the filling and that they’re still functioning as required. Even if there are cracks, pain or discomfort may not be felt until a portion of the tooth breaks off or the tooth splits. That’s why it’s important to have a dentist check your fillings regularly – an absence of pain does not necessarily mean all is well.
If we think replacement fillings are needed, we’ll discuss the options with you so you have all the knowledge needed to make the right call.
What’s involved in filling a tooth?
Firstly, we numb the area so no pain or discomfort is felt. Then we carefully remove any decay with specialised equipment. Once we’re satisfied that all decay has been removed, we clean the area of bacteria and debris.
Composite material is then placed in layers, with each layer cured by a special light. Once the layering process is completed, we shape and polish the filling so it that it’s camouflaged against the surrounding tooth.
By the time we’re finished, you won’t be able to tell the difference between the filling and your tooth.
Early detection is vital when it comes to fillings
It’s often the case that by the time you’re aware of an issue, it has already grown quite large. Regular check-ups with your dentist provide the opportunity to detect issues before they become too serious. Early detection is often the difference between a minor dental treatment and something more complex, like a root canal.
A tooth can deteriorate quite quickly once decay has set in. It’s important that you make an appointment with one of our dentists as soon as you feel there’s an issue. Teeth that have been significantly compromised may require additional support, such as a porcelain inlay or crown. While these treatments are stronger and more durable than fillings, they’re also a much larger financial investment.
Easy payment options
Even though it’s the weekend, our amazingly flexible payment options are still available. You can pay for your Saturday dental treatment with Zip Money as if it’s a regular weekday. Dental treatments are important to your overall health, and it’s best to get that toothache sorted as soon as possible. With Zip Money, the benefits include:
Health Fund Friendly
At Polished Dental, we accept all major private health funds and can facilitate on the spot claiming with HICAPS! We are also proud to be classified as Preferred Providers for several major funds, meaning our patients will usually have access to the highest rebates possible…