Though there are many people who go through life without ever needing one, for some of us, getting a tooth filling is inevitable at some point. There are many different reasons as to why a patient may require a filling, from eating too many sugary foods to smoking which causes the erosion of tooth enamel. Either way, a patient has a choice when it comes to the type of filling. Many patients opt for a white filling for a discreet, clean look and feel. However, there are some younger patients who’d like gold fillings, as something a little different to the ordinary.
We’re happy to work with our patients to choose the ideal filling for them. Here are some of the different types of tooth fillings we offer at Dental Solutions:
Composite or white fillings are the most popular fillings we offer here at Dental Solutions. Because of their practically invisible appearance, patients often feel it looks more aesthetically pleasing than a silver or gold filling. The dentist will choose a white filling that best matches the rest of the patient’s mouth to keep it natural looking and the match as invisible as possible.
Additionally, another benefit is that less tooth structure needs to be removed compared with silver fillings (see below).
Composite fillings are chemically bonded to the tooth’s structure, meaning that the tooth has even further support.
The typical silver amalgam filling can last up to 15 years, sometimes more. A silver/amalgam filling isn’t just silver – it’s a mixture of minerals including:
This is a popular choice of filling because it’s strong, durable and inexpensive. Many NHS dentists prefer to use this type of filling for patients unless they request otherwise. It’s also simpler for a dentist to fit into a cavity, and there’s less concern that it could become contaminated by blood or saliva. For many patients, a silver filling is perfectly fine, particularly if it’s placed towards the back of the mouth where it’s barely visible. However, some patients who have previously had a silver filling may wish to change it to white filling so they can have a whiter smile in photos.
Furthermore, a silver amalgam filling can expand and contract over time. This can create spaces between the filling and the tooth, allowing bits of food to get trapped and bacteria to build up. As a result, new cavities can form. Not only can this cause discomfort for the patient, it can also become a problem as they’ll need to get regular check-ups and undergo frequent hygienist appointments to keep the mouth clean.
At one point, gold fillings were commonly used by dentists. And now it seems as though they’re experiencing a bit of a resurgence. The term “gold” means that it’s made from an alloy that contains gold. It’s actually a mixture of one or two metals that have atomically bonded together. It’s usually combined with:
However, the gold colour will still remain. It’s also the most durable of all the fillings, meaning that it will be many years before a patient needs to have it re-filled.
There are many different types of tooth fillings used in dentistry, but it some cases a root canal procedure is needed to treat a damaged or diseased tooth. This will help to relieve tooth pain and restore the tooth back to good health.
A dentist may need to perform this procedure when there’s a lot of bacteria and/or dead or dying tissue inside the tooth. Consequently, they’re usually recommended when there is an infection deep within the tooth that needs to be remedied. Without effective treatment, patients risk having to have the tooth removed completely.
Thanks to modern endodontic treatment, the experience of a root canal treatment are very similar to that of a filling. It can often be completed within one or two appointments. You’ll be back to smiling, biting and chewing with ease in no time.
“A good friend had had all her fillings replaced with white ones and was raving about the difference it had made to her smile. She encouraged me to do the same. I had been going to Dental Solutions for many years before I went abroad to live.
After I returned to the UK I booked in to see Gavin and he gradually replaced my silver fillings over four separate visits which made the treatment very manageable and pain-free.
I’m now a different person as a result – my smile is so much nicer and I keep it that way by visiting the hygienist every three months. I used to hate going to the dentist when I was younger but I actually enjoy coming now and love chatting to all the team there. “
Margaret, from Lymm
For more information about the different types of tooth filling available at Dental Solutions or to book an appointment, please don’t hesitate to contact our team who will be happy to help.