Back 11 October 2017

Using White Fillings for Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic dentistry includes many tratment options such as braces, porcelain restorations dental implants etc. Nowadays, we can whiten stained teeth back to their pearly days, bond veneers onto teeth to create a new smile and even give your gum a lift to make your teeth look longer and more symmetrical. But there are some services that serve both a health and cosmetic purpose, and white fillings are one of the most popular of these procedures.

What are White Fillings?

Fillings are used as an option to restore a decayed tooth back to its normal function and shape. Traditionally, silver fillings (otherwise known as mercury amalgam fillings) were often used to save a tooth. These worked well for over 150 years until its potentially harmful effects to the tooth were recognised. I believe better alternatives are now available such as composite resin filling material (white fillings). Silver amalgam fillings are made with mercury (50% of the mix), silver shavings, zinc, copper and tin. 

White fillings, on the other hand, are composed of composite resin, which is tooth-coloured acrylic and glass particles. These don’t contain any toxic substances, making it safer to have inside your mouth. White fillings, when placed expertly are also longer lasting and seal and stabilize the tooth structure better. Plus they look more natural and have obvious cosmetic benefits compared to silver fillings. Composite resin bonds to the tooth tissue from the inside, meaning it not only compliments your natural teeth but also works as a stronger solution glueing the tooth together from the inside.

The Better Choice

If you have any old silver fillings, you can get them replaced with white fillings. At Milford Dentists, we stopped using amalgam fillings in 1999. Always ahead of the curve, we opted to be mercury amalgam free early on, and we’ve remained this way since then. The fact is, silver fillings are still considered ‘safe’ according many Dental councils/bodies world wide including the New Zealand Dental Council. 

We think it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your teeth, which is why we offer white fillings instead. We prefer white fillings because they require less drilling of the existing tooth, they look more natural, and they are stronger and as stated above when expertly placed last longer. It seems like the obvious choice, really. White fillings can also make your teeth appear whiter, giving your smile a boost in confidence. In cosmetic dentistry, it is this whitening effect that makes white fillings such a well-loved procedure.

White fillings can last for many years with the right care. We recommend brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing daily. If you clench or grind your teeth, ask your dentist about getting a bite gaurd/night splint to protect not only your fillings but your whole mouth. Avoiding excess amounts of sugary foods will also help keep your white fillings happy.

If you have any questions about white fillings or you’d like to book an appointment with one of our dentists or book in if interested in teeth whitening or stain removal with our airflo with our dental hygienist,
Andrea :)
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