White Fillings

What are they?

White fillings are made from composite resin that is bonded to the tooth.

How are they made?

The tooth is prepared in a similar way to a normal filling. An injection is given to numb the tooth, the decay and/or old filling is removed by drilling. The cavity is shaped by use of the drill to ensure adequate depth and retention and then the white filling is placed in the tooth in a series of steps listed below.

  1. The dentist will discuss a shade of composite that best matches the
    natural colour of the tooth to be filled.
  2. The composite is placed into the cavity.
  3. The composite is shaped to look like a normal part of your tooth.
  4. The composite is then hardened using a blue light.
  5. The dentist will adjust the height of the filling.
  6. You will be able to eat and drink soft, cold substances as soon as the
    anaesthetic has worn off. We do not advise you eat or drink anything
    hot for 24 hours.

How long does treatment take?

A filling will normally take between 15 and 45 minutes.

Advantages

  • The fillings look like natural tooth structures. Less tooth structure is
    removed to place the filling, making white fillings ideal for small cavities
    (holes).
  • It bonds to your natural tooth forming a good link between filling and tooth.

Disadvantages

White fillings can cause far greater sensitivity than amalgam (silver coloured) fillings. The sensitivity is usually to cold substances e.g. and ice cream or cold drink. This can last for up to 3 months or longer after the placement of the filling. If prolonged this may indicate that a white filling is unsuitable for you and the filling may have to be replaced by amalgam, gold or porcelain. This will depend on the patient’s choice any may incur an additional costs of we have to make an inlay/onlay. White fillings may not last as long as amalgam fillings in large cavities (holes).

Suitability

Not all teeth or cavities (holes caused by tooth decay) are suitable for white fillings. Large cavities are more likely to result in sensitivity and are prone to leakage and will have shorter life spans. Amalgam fillings may well have stained your tooth substance, so your tooth may appear grey after the old filling is replaced by a white one. All options will be discussed with you and you can then choose if you want to pursue the option of a white filling.

Cost

As the National Health Service has not considered white fillings on the biting surface of back teeth to be clinically necessary for many years (because they are not as hardwearing as other materials), they will only be provided privately as cosmetic treatment. We are able to provide white fillings at a reasonable fee. The cost is however determined by the size of the filling and its position on the tooth.

It is your choice whether you wish to undertake this procedure.

Last updated: 10.05.2017 at 17:00 GMT