What happens when you get dental fillings?

Fillings can either be metal or composite and are used to restore and strengthen decayed or broken teeth. Composite fillings are made of a mixture of resin and glass and are more aesthetically pleasing compared to metal fillings. Moreover, they provide enhanced stability, since they surround the tooth structure, instead of just filling it in.

At Forest Dental in Loughton, white fillings are used as an alternative to amalgam fillings, which don’t look so good. The process of filling cavities is a fairly simple and easy one that can be done in the dentist’s chair in one appointment.

White Fillings in LoughtonWhat to expect

Composite fillings are a quick procedure and rarely require more than one appointment to the dentist. Prior to the procedure, your dentist will take x-rays if needed, guide you through the treatment and assess the health of the rest of your teeth.

Before filling your cavity, they will numb your teeth, gums and surrounding areas in order to avoid any pain or discomfort during the procedure.

Next, they will drill into the cavity, clean it thoroughly, let it dry and apply the composite material in layers. Each layer is cured with a special light and the final layer is sculpted to fit with your bite.

Apart from cavities, white fillings can also be used to repair damage to teeth caused by teeth grinding or to replace part of a broken tooth or chipped tooth.

When to replace a filling

Composite fillings can last for many years with proper care and maintenance, but sometimes they may need to be replaced. If you clench or grind your teeth, you may need to have tooth fillings replaced sooner than most people.

If you notice signs of wear on your fillings, it is advised to visit your dentist to have the filling replaced as soon as possible. Continuing to chew with a damaged filling can cause the tooth to crack and require additional repair, which is usually more extensive and expensive.

Get in touch

If you need a filling, get in touch and we will book an appointment for you. Our helpful team is here to answer all the questions you may have.

Restore your teeth with white fillings in Loughton

Fillings help restore damaged teeth to their normal function, while they also prevent further decay and deterioration. While nowadays there are many types of fillings available, each with their own advantages and disadvantages, composite white fillings and amalgam fillings are the most common.

Forest Dental in Loughton is a mercury-free practice, meaning that all of our fillings are composite, tooth-coloured or white fillings that blend with the natural colour of your teeth. While amalgam fillings are safe to use, white composite fillings are more stable, because they distribute chewing force evenly, and are more aesthetically pleasing. If you wish, we can remove your old metal amalgam fillings and replace them with tooth-coloured composite ones.

White Fillings in LoughtonHow are teeth filled with composite fillings?

White filings are very versatile since they can be used in the front or the back of your mouth. They are natural looking and restore strength and function to damaged teeth. Your dentist can build up cracked or chipped teeth with a white filing to restore each tooth to its original look and feel or, it can alternatively be used to close gaps, reshape uneven or short teeth and fill cavities caused by tooth decay.

Following a small preparation, your dentist will place the composite material in layers with the aid of a special adhesive and a light that accelerates bonding. When the process is finished, the dentist will sculpt the filling to fit the contours of your tooth. Finally, the filling will be polished in order to prevent staining and early wear.

At Forest Dental, our white fillings are available in a wide range of shades that blend naturally into the rest of your smile.

Advantages of white fillings

Generally, tooth coloured fillings are more aesthetically pleasing since they match your natural tooth colour and appearance. Unlike amalgam fillings, they are minimally invasive and require less drilling, therefore not as much tooth structure needs to be removed. More importantly, because they are made of composite material, they harden in seconds. Moreover, white fillings bond to the tooth providing extra strength and resilience. Finally, compared to other tooth-coloured materials such as porcelain, composite fillings are more affordable and offer a considerable improvement over metal fillings.

White fillings to replace metal amalgam fillings

At Forest Dental, we are proud to be a mercury-free practice, using only tooth-coloured composite material (commonly referred to as “white fillings”) to fill teeth. These fillings blend in perfectly with the natural colour of your teeth, as several shades of composite material are available and your dentist will pick one that closely matches your tooth colour.

white fillingsIf you have old, worn or obvious metal amalgam fillings that make you feel self-conscious about smiling, we can also remove these fillings and replace them with new tooth-coloured composite fillings – a fast, effective and safe way to restore your confidence in your smile.

Once upon a time, metal amalgam was the only option for patients who needed fillings. While it is very strong, it can also be very obvious. White fillings used to be thought of as less strong than their metal counterparts, but thanks to advances in dental techniques, technologies and materials, white fillings are now considered very strong and durable, and suitable for use anywhere in the mouth. They are made of a composite of resin and tiny particles of glass, and will last you for many years with proper care and regular dental visits.

For patients with larger cavities in their teeth, your dentist may recommend fitting tooth-coloured inlays or onlays. These are made from porcelain and fit into (inlay) or on to (onlay) a tooth. They are in many ways a half-step between a filling and a crown – ideal when the tooth requires more support than a standard white filling can provide, but enough of the tooth structure is still intact to avoid the need for a crown.

White fillings are usually placed under local anaesthetic. Your dentist will carefully remove all areas of decay from your tooth before placing white filling material – matched to the natural colour of your tooth – in the cavity.