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Information about White fillings

At The Dentist Manchester we firmly believe that everyone has the right to a beautiful smile. With modern techniques and materials we are able to revitalise your smile; by replacing old, worn fillings and treating cavities with natural-looking white fillings. Those of you with old, silver fillings can look forward to a set of teeth which are strong, healthy and look completely natural. 

What are white fillings?

White fillings, also known as composite resin, are made from a mixture of plastic and fine glass particles that are bonded to the enamel and dentine in the teeth: this ensures that the tooth remains strong. Dental composites can be used to fill up even the smallest gap or crack, and come in different shades depending on the whiteness of your teeth. Furthermore this material is used as a minimally invasive way of treating discoloured, crooked and chipped teeth. Most of our patients at The Dentist Manchester opt for this material when having treatment for cavities or cosmetic dentistry. 

Do white fillings look natural?

At The Dentist Manchester we use every technique and material possible to ensure your teeth, including those with white fillings, look completely natural. The materials we use mimic the natural tooth anatomy, such as CEREC technology (Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics, or CEramic REConstruction). Using CEREC means that patients can have a filling fitted in just one visit. It allows us to map the tooth structure and create an exact replica model. For our patients it means that they will hardly be able to differentiate between their own teeth and the matched, white restorations. 

When refreshing and rejuvenating smiles, we frequently use individual diagnostic wax ups with the help of our on-site technician, Adam Davies. This ensures that we and our patients can see exactly what the end result will look like before even touching a drill.

Can I have my teeth whitened if I have fillings?

Teeth whitening and bleaching solutions are not able top change the shade of artificial, white fillings so speak to your dentist about your plans for the future. If you are planning to have your teeth whitened, he might want to use a lighter shade of white fillings if the chip, crack or cavity is somewhere prominent.  

Are white fillings secure?

Our experienced team of dentists uses white filling materials every single day when we revitalise and enhance our patients' smiles so you have nothing to worry about. 

We also use a 'dental dam' which is a small piece of plastic that covers your teeth - leaving only the one undergoing treatment exposed. That way we can protect all your other teeth and make sure the filling or restoration is done safely and securely.

When combined with orthodontics and teeth whitening, white fillings are a very cost effective route to a beautiful smile which is easy to maintain. 

Are white fillings better than silver fillings?

Traditional fillings like Amalgam, also known as silver fillings, are made from a mixture of silver, zinc and copper. These fillings are strong and can withstand a lot of grinding, wear and tear. However, although silver fillings are cheaper than modern, white fillings only very few dentists use this material these days. To start with, silver fillings tend to spoil an otherwise beautiful smile. Over time they can also become tarnished, resulting in the colour rubbing off where the filling meets the tooth. In repairing a cavity, silver fillings aren't ideal as the dentist has to create a much larger space, drilling away more of the healthy tooth, to fit in the material. 

What other types of fillings are there?

Some of the other most common tooth fillings are cast gold and ceramic. Both of these are most commonly used for inlays, onlays and crowns.

Cast gold fillings are usually not actually made of pure gold. Instead, a mixture of gold alloy and other metals is used which lasts for about 7 years before it will need to be replaced - just like silver fillings.

Ceramic fillings are created from porcelain materials. Just like the material used for white fillings, porcelain looks very much like your own teeth. This material is very strong, durable and offers a good level of protection against decay. It requires the skill and experience of a dental technician to create porcelain fillings, crowns and onlays - matching the shade of white exactly to that of your own natural teeth. 

Other types of fillings include gold foil, made purely of gold, and glass lonomer made from acrylic and a glass called fluoroaluminosilicate.