Dental & Implant Centre in Guildford, Surrey
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Composite Fillings

The most common and simplest way to restore a decayed or broken tooth is with a filling. This might be with a traditional silver amalgam filling or more commonly now with a tooth-coloured or “white” filling material. Dental amalgam is a very strong and effective material, but is not aesthetically pleasing. If a filling is visible or in a front tooth, then a tooth-coloured filling can be used. Your dentist will discuss with you which material is appropriate for you in each situation.

Traditionally, cavities in back teeth were repaired with silver fillings, and white fillings were only used on front teeth. This was because, in the past, the white filling material was not as strong as silver amalgam, and so could not withstand the heavier chewing forces generated by the molar teeth. In the past 5-10 years there have been significant advances in dental materials so that white fillings are now as good, if not better than silver amalgam fillings.

Composite Filling1

  • They offer several distinct advantages:
  • Far superior cosmetics – they look and feel just like natural teeth.
  • It is possible to bond white fillings to the tooth so they require less of the healthy part of a tooth to be removed in order to hold the filling in place.
  • There is no mercury in white fillings, which means they are kinder to the environment.
  • They do not expand in the cavity and so place less internal stress in the tooth than silver amalgam.

For large fillings, if more than 70% of the tooth has been compromised, lab made restorations are preferred to white fillings.