While we still carry out the placement of dental amalgams where necessary, and believe that functionally, they still have their place, white fillings are of course cosmetically far superior.
There are many techniques to restore broken, worn or decayed teeth, or replace failing restorations with white (or more correctly tooth coloured) filling materials. Where appropriate, we use composite materials to match the colour of your own natural teeth. Special adhesives are used to bond these materials into, or onto your teeth. These techniques increase the retention of the filling as well as sealing the defect, providing longer term cosmetic enhancement.
Tooth coloured fillings are commonly used in front teeth and in many but not all situations on back teeth. If a very large filling is required in a back tooth, either 2 stage “inlays” made of porcelain or fibre –reinforced composites, or indeed a crown may be considered. Where the bite is extremely heavy, gold inlays/overlays which are incredibly strong though less aesthetic, may be considered.
Some patients are concerned about the health aspect of dental amalgam. There are different views available on this, though the wholesale replacement of existing dental amalgams for composites is not usually advised. If the dentist tells you an amalgam needs replacing, you may wish to ask for a tooth coloured alternative.
Often less invasive tooth preparation relative to amalgam restorations.
Composite restorations create immediate result.
More technique sensitive, therefore more time consuming, and more expensive than amalgam fillings.
Composites show greater wear rates than porcelain, gold or amalgam alternatives.
Porcelain or fibre re-inforced (indirect) restorations require laboratory input – therefore 2 appointments required.
For areas of gum recession where the toothbrush has abraded a tooth, a simple cost effective tooth coloured filling of a different family (a glass ionomer) can be used to correct this and is bonded to the tooth with no need for initial drilling. On occasions, a double layer of glass ionomer faced with composite may be used for the same purpose.
The images below show examples of treatments available at Atkinson Brignall Caring Dentistry
You may also like to visit our Bonding page.