What are white fillings?
White fillings are modern, advanced aesthetically attractive dental material used to fill cavities or tooth decay. White fillings, which are also known as composite fillings, are made up of glass particles, synthetic resin and setting ingredient that mimic the appearance of natural teeth.
As the white fillings blend well with the remainder of your teeth enamel, your dentist will recommend this for teeth restoration near the front of your mouth. White fillings restore damaged parts of teeth caused by decay and return it to normal function.
White fillings can now also be used cosmetically to reshape disfigured teeth or improve the colour of teeth. White fillings are a form of restorative dental treatment that will give you a natural smile by placing on any of your dental cavities fillings that look white.
Tooth-coloured (white) fillings
What are the advantages of white fillings?
- White fillings can save you from having an expensive restoration of a broken tooth in the future, as white fillings try to restore the original strength of the tooth, thereby decreasing the risk of tooth breakage in the future.
- Back teeth can be restored with white fillings. Though initially being only suitable for use on the front teeth, white fillings are now recommended for back teeth as well. White fillings are capable of withstanding the pressure and daily wear produced by the back teeth.
- White fillings are natural looking restorations and are preferable for cosmetic reasons.
- In comparison to other types of fillings, teeth restored using white fillings are less sensitive to hot and cold.
- White fillings do not contain any mercury.
- White fillings require less removal of the healthy part of the tooth structure in order to hold the filling in place. This is because white fillings bond to the teeth with an adhesive. As a result, your tooth will be stronger after the procedure, reducing the risk of breakage.
What is the procedure for white fillings?
A white (composite) filling only requires one dental visit during which the tooth is prepared, the decay is removed and the tooth is completely restored.
Following appropriate preparation of the decayed tooth, your dentist will place composite filling in layers on your tooth. A laser light will be used to harden each layer in place. Once the white filling placement is complete, the dentist will shape the composite to fit the tooth. The dentist will also polish the composite to protect it against staining and wearing.
A white filling procedure may take a little longer than other types of filling because once the tooth is decay-free, it must be isolated from saliva. The entire dental procedure can take 10-20 minutes longer than a silver filling.
How long does the white filling last?
The life span of a white filling depends on a number of factors – where it is located in your mouth, how much pressure it is under whilst biting etc. Your dentist will be able to advise you on the life expectancy of your white filling and the appropriate dental hygiene to maintain its sustainability. Generally, you can expect your white fillings to last for 7-10 years.
After undergoing a white filling procedure, there is a chance of the composite shade changing slightly if the patient drinks tea, coffee or other staining foods. Your dentist can put a clear plastic coating over the filling to prevent this from happening.