Today, with the higher standards of tooth care available- regular dental and hygiene check-ups, our knowledge of good and bad foods and the wide range of dental products on the market- our teeth are generally healthier and stronger than ever before.
Despite this, there are very few people who won’t require a filling at some point in their lives.
Why do I need a filling?
You may need a filling for various reasons. Most often it is because of a decay in the tooth, however excessive biting of fingernails or grinding of the teeth can cause wear. They can also be damaged by hard food items or when biting on hard objects.
Can a filling ever look natural?
For aesthetic reasons, many people now opt for composite resin (tooth coloured) fillings.
First introduced in the 1960’s, composite fillings are a mixture of plastic and glass (silicon dioxide). The resin is white in colour giving it a natural look which blends very well with your natural teeth.
Due to the fact that white filings were generally considered softer and therefore less hard wearing than amalgam, composite fillings were originally only used in the back teeth.
Today, with more modern materials now available, composite is suitable for use in all teeth and has proved just as strong and durable as amalgam.
The benefits of a white filling
- A white filling gives a natural looking finish
- Unlike amalgam, a composite filling actually bonds to your tooth increasing its strength.
- Less removal of the tooth is required- although they may take slightly longer to place.
- They are a less invasive and expensive alternative to crowns.
- Because it bonds to the tooth a white filling can often be used on a severely damaged tooth which might not otherwise support an amalgam filling.
- If a composite filling is damaged it can be easily repaired- an amalgam filling must be completely replaced.
- They do not contain mercury- which is a cause of concern for some patients.
- Resin does not corrode over time- as amalgam does.