How many fillings have you had over the years? Not sure? How about if you count them? That’s easy to do if you had your cavities filled with amalgam, that dark silvery-grey filling material made of silver, tin and mercury.
It’s not so easy to do if you have white fillings in Essex, and if you can’t count how many fillings you’ve had because you can’t see them, then neither can anyone else. And that’s the point of white fillings, they are a far more discreet way to have cavities filled than amalgam.
White fillings are made of a mixture of glass and plastic that is coloured to match the teeth. This mixture is called composite resin. Over the years, since white fillings first came on the market, they have got a lot stronger and more durable.
There are some good reasons, beyond aesthetics, to use white fillings instead of amalgam.
Teeth are stronger
When the dentist drills out decay for a filling, they take more healthy tooth material away for an amalgam filling than for a composite filling. This means that the tooth is stronger with white fillings because more of it is left behind. When it comes to back teeth, this is a real plus, as these teeth can really take a pounding when chewing is in full force.
White filling material goes in in layers and each layer is cured (hardened) with a UV light, bonding it to the walls of the cavity. There are no micro-gaps for bacteria to sneak in and under the filling and get busy decaying the tooth. Amalgam, on the other hand, is packed in tightly but does not actually bond with the tooth. Bacteria can still get in and start decaying the tooth.
Sculpting new chewing surfaces
Amalgam is soft, and once it goes into the tooth, it lies flat. Back teeth that are filled with amalgam lose their chewing surfaces. The layers of white filling however, can be sculpted once they have been hardened and the teeth can have the bumps and valleys of their chewing surfaces recreated.
Ask for more info next time you come into Crofts Dental Practice in Essex.