- View Our White Fillings Gallery
- Read Our Blog "How Long Do White Fillings Last ?"
- Read Our Blog On White Fillings Versus Amalgam Fillings
- Read Our Blog On White Fillings "Just The Facts"
What is a White Filling made of? - What is composite resin?
This filling material is a combination of tiny glass beads mixed in a plastic “gloop”. Composite resin these days is generally set hard using a high intensity blue light. This light is shone on to the material thus catalysing the setting reaction. There are many tooth-coloured shades which are matched to the shade of your teeth creating natural looking, virtually invisible, long lasting fillings.
How Long Do White Fillings Last?
This is a “how long is a piece of string type question” & is impossible to answer. Many fillings last many years & some don’t last long enough. There are many factors that affect the longevity of a filling. For example, a small filling will generally last longer than a large filling because there is less to go wrong with it. Some of the other factors affecting a fillings life are ~ material used, operator skill, patients diet, a number of surfaces of the tooth involved, age, saliva flow & position in the tooth.
There are three ways to achieve a longer lasting solution when considering how to restore
- A large cavity,
- A cosmetically challenged tooth or teeth
- Replace an old large filling
Find out more about out our services
Since 1999 Milford Dentists has been Mercury Amalgam FREE.
There is some debate at the moment about the “safety” of dental amalgam. Is it safe & should I have my amalgams replaced with an alternative material?
I (Andrea) believe that now there are physically superior alternatives to dental amalgam & I have therefore stopped using it. The opinion from those involved with “complimentary” medicine is that dental amalgam is unsafe & such fillings should be replaced with “safe” alternatives. If you want your amalgam fillings removed because you feel this material is unsafe I am happy at your request to arrange their removal under rubber dam with piped oxygen.
What is dental amalgam?
Amalgam is mix of mercury(50%), copper, tin & silver
To find out what are the physical problems with dental amalgam check our blog
Amalgam has been used successfully for over a hundred years to restore teeth. Until recently I believed it was the best material for this. Now I believe that composite resin is a better filling material. Whilst amalgam is a good filling material it has certain physical properties that aren’t ideal.
Some of these would be :
- Metals, especially mercury, of which dental amalgam constitutes up to 50% expands & contracts a lot with temperature change. When dental amalgam fillings expand (for example when you have hot food or drink) they put strain on the surrounding brittle tooth eventually leading to the tooth cracking
- Over the years it gets “squashed” into the tooth during daily chewing, this spreading of amalgam (called “creep”) creates pressure fractures in the tooth leading to sharp pain on chewing (cracked cusp syndrome) & or bits of your teeth literally fracturing off. This tooth fracturing usually occurs, rather illogically, whilst eating something innocuous like soft bread.
- Because it is a metal it conducts temperature sensation like a radiator to the nerve in the centre of the tooth far too quickly causing “hot & cold” sensitivity
- Creep also creates overhangs on fillings leading to food trapping & secondary decay.
- It is unsightly.