Invisible (white) fillings

Dental fillings are used to restore teeth that have been damaged by tooth decay. The development of tooth-colored also known as invisible fillings has provided dentists and patients with a safe more attractive alternative to amalgam fillings.
By exactly matching tooth-colored composite fillings with the natural color of your teeth, a skilled cosmetic dentist is able to provide you with white fillings that are virtually invisible. The removal of old silver amalgam fillings can provide patients with white fillings that provide a more pleasing, less toxic silver-free smile (silver fillings contain mercury).

Composite Dental Fillings

Composite fillings, also known as white / tooth-colored / invisible fillings, have replaced the need for amalgam material when filling in areas of teeth that have been affected by tooth decay and cavities. The majority of our patients in the UK are now choosing to have old silver fillings replaced and new cavities filled with composite solutions despite the fact that tooth colored fillings are more expensive than silver fillings.

Invisible Fillings Benefits

Composite fillings offer a number of benefits over silver amalgam fillings, which contain mercury and are considered by many to be toxic.

  • Composite materials can restore and strengthen the teeth; silver fillings actually weaken the tooth because the metal can expand and contract based on temperature changes, making the tooth more prone to breakage.
  • Bonding to tooth structure -- composite fillings actually chemically bond to tooth structure, providing further support.
  • Aesthetics: the shade/color of the composite fillings can be closely matched to the color of existing teeth. Composites are particularly well suited for use in front teeth or visible parts of teeth.
  • The hole required for silver fillings is significantly larger than in the case of composite fillings. Much less of your natural tooth has to be removed when prepping it for the composite fillings.
  • White fillings improve the health of teeth without marring their appearance with silver colored dark fillings.
  • There is less post-treatment pain and sensitivity associated with use of composite materials versus amalgam fillings.

Composite Fillings Risks and Side Effects

There are no known health risks associated with use of composite fillings. However, some patients do experience mild discomfort in the days following the procedure. Patients can expect to feel some pain and sensitivity to hot and cold food and drinks, especially in the first week or two after treatment. This compared to the health and aesthetic benefits of invisible fillings is negligible.

Preparing the Tooth

After our dentist at Emergency Dentist London has determined which tooth is affected by decay, a drill, air abrasion instrument, or laser will be used to remove infected areas of the tooth. Once the decay has been removed, the dentist will prepare the space for the filling by cleaning the cavity of bacteria and debris. After the tooth has been sufficiently prepped, the dentist can fill in areas of the missing tooth a tooth-colored composite material. If you have old silver fillings that need to be replaced, our dentist will remove the amalgam filling, clean out any underlying debris or damage, and mold the composite material to the tooth.

Filling the Tooth

The majority of UK patients opt to have their cavities filled in with a tooth-colored bonding material rather than the silver mercury fillings that were commonly used in the past. With composite fillings, the dentist uses dental devices that isolate the affected tooth so moisture does not prevent the composite material from properly bonding to the tooth. If the decay is near the root, our dentist may first put in a liner made of glass ionomer, composite resin, or other material to protect the nerve. The dentist then applies the composite solution to fill in the missing areas and provide more support to the tooth. A special light is held over the bonding material for a set amount of time until the filling hardens. When the multilayering process is completed, the dentist will shape the composite material to the desired result, trim off any excess material, and polish the final restoration.

White Filling Benefits

When a new cavity needs filling, the vast majority of patients now choose tooth-colored composite fillings. White fillings are made of composite resin and serve to fill cavities just like silver amalgam fillings. However, white fillings are matched to the color of your teeth and are virtually invisible. Tooth-colored fillings are more and more popular over the years. As the availability of white fillings has increased and the dangers associated with amalgam fillings have been publicized, patients are eager to have their their cavities filled with beautifully white, tooth-colored fillings.

More information about invisible fillings here.

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