At ConfiDental Clinic, Clapham Junction in Battersea, our dental surgeons are accomplished in cosmetic dentistry. White fillings can be used for various restoration purposes. They are ideal for aesthetic restorations both for front and back teeth.
White Filling Restorations on front teeth, otherwise known as Dental Bonding, is where a composite material is applied directly to the tooth. Composite materials are available in a variety of shades matched to your tooth, making the restoration blend in seamlessly and appear like your natural tooth. White fillings are required to restore the function and appearance of teeth that may be chipped, broken or on teeth which have been affected with dental decay. If your teeth are irregularly shaped, or uneven, dental bonding is ideal for restoring aesthetics. Cosmetic Dental Bonding requires minimal preparations, making this treatment less destructive and preserving more of the healthy tooth structure.
Modern white fillings are now stronger and more durable than previous composite materials and are widely used to restore damaged or decayed molar teeth for long term treatment. For cosmetic purposes, white fillings can be used to replace unsightly metal mercury fillings, which can still be visible even if only present on back molar teeth, especially lower molars. When placing white fillings in decayed or damaged teeth, the composite material is bonded to the natural tooth using a special bright light (light curer) making it not only more aesthetically pleasing, but also less prone to leakage and in some cases less destructive when preparing the tooth for the restoration. White fillings can also be applied on areas of recession around the gum line. This treatment can prevent further recession occurring and also ease sensitivity.
Depending on the area or reason for having a White Filling, there may be no or little drilling required in the preparation. In these cases, there may even be no need for local anaesthetic. If the tooth is presented with decay, your Dental Surgeon will remove all affected areas, clean and dry the tooth.
The prepared surfaces with be etched with an acid gel then a liquid is applied enabling the composite material to bond to the tooth. Your Dental Surgeon will select the perfect composite shade which matches and blends with your natural teeth. The composite is applied in layers, compressed, sculpted and set with a special bright light (light curer). Once the material has been built up, final shaping and polishing is carried out, leaving you with a natural looking smooth restoration.
When larger fillings are required on pre molar or molar teeth, we usually advise a Porcelain Inlay or Onlay. These are recommended to fill larger cavities where too little tooth structure is present to support a filling but with enough tooth structure remaining to avoid Dental Crown work.
Porcelain inlays or onlays are custom made in a laboratory and fit in or on the tooth. They are durable, strong, long wearing and aesthetically natural looking. The porcelain shade is matched to your tooth ensuring the inlay or onlay blends in with the tooth appearing un-noticeable.
Porcelain inlays or onlays usually require two visits. During the first appointment, the tooth will be prepared for the inlay or onlay restoration which involves removing any decay and smoothing any sharp or broken edges. Impressions are then taken and sent to the laboratory to hand make the restoration according to your individual prescription. This usually takes 10 to 14 days. During this time, you will have a temporary white filling in place so the prepared tooth will be protected, aesthetically sound and not left exposed.
Once the restoration has been constructed, the temporary filling is removed and the tooth is cleaned. Your dentist will place the custom made inlay or onlay, examine the fit, occlusion and appearance with you ensuring you are content with the final result before cementing in place.
Why or When would I need White Fillings?
If you are unhappy with the aesthetics of your front teeth, then white fillings may be an option to consider. If your front teeth are broken, chipped or misshaped then white fillings or Dental Bonding is a safe, less destructive why to improve the appearance.
Due to modern materials, White fillings can also be used as an alternative to silver mercury fillings for larger cavities on back teeth, saving affected decayed or broken teeth. White Fillings can also be considered if you wish to replace existing mercury fillings.
Are White Fillings suitable for me?
If you are looking to improve the look of your front teeth by reshaping them, filling chipped areas or simply wish to have an alternative to silver mercury restorations, then White fillings could be the ideal option for you.
If you are considering tooth whitening, it may advised for you to carry it out before white fillings are placed. Your Dental Surgeon can then match the white filling composite material to the tooth shade following whitening treatment.
What are the alternatives to White Fillings?
The alternatives for front teeth restorations are veneers or crowns. White fillings would usually be the first option to explore as the preparation is minimal making them the least destructive to the natural tooth.
Alternatives for Back teeth restorations are usually mercury fillings, inlays, onlays or Dental Crowns.