For a long time, dark amalgam has been the filling material of choice for many dentists. Advances in dental materials mean that tooth-coloured composite resins are now just as effective for restoring teeth after a cavity. Whilst we don’t recommend it unless there is a clinical need, we can replace your dark amalgam fillings with tooth-coloured fillings to help boost your confidence and restore your smile.
The procedure for repairing a tooth after a cavity is a lot different when using composite resin. This is because the material can adhere to the tooth far better than amalgam fillings, so less of the tooth needs to be removed to make space for the filling. This results in a minimally invasive restoration that preserves as much of the natural tooth as possible.
The process of a white filling is very similar to any other filling. We will remove the damaged portion of the tooth and clean the area. We will then prepare the resin material and carefully match this to the colour of the surrounding teeth. We apply the resin directly to the teeth and then shape it to match your bite. We’ll cure the resin to harden it and then adjust it if required. This takes the same amount of time as a regular dark amalgam filling, but the finished result is far more discreet.
No, you will be numbed throughout the procedure so you shouldn’t have any pain. After the treatment, you may have some increased sensitivity to hot and cold because of inflammation inside the tooth. As the inflammation calms down, this sensitivity will go away.
No, it’s not essential to replace dark fillings with white fillings. Dark fillings are safe and very durable, so you can leave them alone if you prefer. If you lose a filling and need to replace it, we can use white composite fillings for a more discreet restoration. And if you have a new cavity that needs to be repaired, we can also recommend white filling material.
With the right care, your filling could last from 7 years up to 15 years. After this time, the filling may need to be repaired or replaced. Taking good care of your teeth will help your fillings to last a long time.