If you are fed up with seeing unsightly black or metal fillings every time you smile, the time might be right to replace them with tooth-coloured ‘white’ fillings.
Using today’s modern composite materials, white fillings have strength and flexibility that is comparable to traditional amalgam.
We consider each case individually and will recommend whether immediate replacement is suitable. As the process of removing amalgam fillings can release the mercury contained in the metal, it is important the procedure be undertaken with the utmost care. Sometimes it is clinically preferable to only replace amalgam fillings if and when they fail.
Composite, or white filling material, can also be used as an inlay or onlay, to restore teeth that have minor damage such as cracks or stains. The process is similar to re-plastering a wall to cover superficial defects and the composite will be colour-matched to blend in perfectly with your natural teeth.
Tooth decay is a natural result of eating and drinking anything that contains sugars or reacts with plaque on your teeth to form acids. Having sugary snacks or drinks between meals is particularly harmful as the acids have no time to neutralise.
Of course brushing your teeth regularly and if possible after eating will help you avoid tooth decay. If this is not possible, chewing sugar free gum will help stimulate saliva which neutralises the acid in your mouth and prevent damage. Minimising the number of times you eat between meals will also help. Routine checkups and having x-rays will also allow us to see whether there is any early signs of decay present in your teeth.
Unfortunately, in the early stages tooth decay has few symptoms. The first sign is often some sensitivity when eating hot or cold foods. As the decay gets closer to the pulp of the tooth you may begin to suffer from toothache.
If the decay is not too serious we will be able to remove it and fill the tooth – usually with a white filling or composite. If the decay is more advanced, we may need to perform root canal treatment.