Dental white fillings are the healthier option for filling in decayed teeth
For decades the industry standard for filling teeth was to use amalgam fillings. And while these are still sometimes used, there is overwhelming evidence to suggest that they may not be the best option for oral health. The industry standard is now to use composite white fillings to fill in decay.
The health benefits of dental white fillings
Dental white fillings, as opposed to amalgam fillings, are colour-matched to your teeth so no one will know you’ve had work done. But more importantly, white fillings only replace the decayed part of your tooth and do not compromise the tooth’s structural integrity. Though they prevent further damage to an extent, it is important to keep in mind that having a filling placed in your tooth does not mean decay cannot return.
White dental filling procedure
The placement of a white filling can be performed in one appointment. For multiple fillings, it may be better to have this done across a few appointments.
The procedure for a filling involves:
- Applying anaesthetic
- Cleaning out the decay from the tooth
- Making the composite filling to match your tooth colour
- Applying the filling
- Placing a special light to harden the filling
All up this produce can take around 20 to 30 minutes, depending on how much decay needs to be removed from the tooth.
Difference between dental white fillings and amalgam fillings
Opposed to the almost undetectable appearance of white fillings, amalgam fillings are silver and contain some mercury in them. While the effect of mercury in amalgam fillings is up for debate, the amount of tooth structure which has to be removed in order for an amalgam filling to be placed is certainly detrimental. Unlike white fillings, amalgam is not flexible. It expands and contracts with extreme temperatures, causing your tooth to crack. Additionally, decay can form underneath an amalgam filling, resulting in the need for a replacement.
Amalgam filling removal
The process of replacing amalgam filling with white filling is not as simple as taking one filling out and replacing it with the more modern option. In fact, the procedure for removing amalgam is carefully regulated because of the potential health risk associated with ingesting amalgam.
The process of removing amalgam fillings begins with placing a dental dam in your mouth to isolate the teeth to be treated, and help to prevent liquids being swallowed. Then the amalgam is carefully extracted by breaking it down into pieces. A suction device is used to ensure you do not swallow any of the amalgam. Then your dental filling will be placed where the amalgam filling was.
Remove amalgam fillings or not?
The question of potential health risks aside, the choice to remove amalgam fillings is a personal one. If you would like to get rid of the unsightly metal fillings and replace it with a more aesthetically pleasing option, then dental white fillings are the best option for you.
White dental fillings at Bonfire Dental Jindalee
If you would like to know more about white fillings or amalgam filling removal, or to request an appointment, please contact us today.