NATURAL WHITE FILLINGS PUTNEY

We use the latest in natural white filling materials that blend in with your teeth and enhance your smile. The fillings are bonded (glued) in with the latest technology to ensure they look great and function well for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions about Natural White Fillings, Putney

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What are white fillings?

White fillings, also known as tooth-coloured fillings or composite resin fillings, are a type of dental restoration used to repair teeth affected by cavities, cracks, or minor fractures. Unlike traditional silver amalgam fillings, white fillings are made from a combination of plastic and glass materials that are designed to match the natural shade of your teeth, providing a more aesthetically pleasing and inconspicuous result.

Composition of White Fillings

Composite resin

A mixture of plastic and fine glass particles that forms the main body of the filling material

Initiators

Chemical compounds that initiate the hardening or curing process of the resin

Stabilisers

Substances that help maintain the stability and consistency of the filling material

Benefits of White Fillings

Natural appearance

White fillings blend seamlessly with the colour of your natural teeth, making them virtually indistinguishable

Aesthetic appeal

They provide a more attractive and discreet solution, especially for visible areas like front teeth

Mercury-free

Unlike silver amalgam fillings, white fillings do not contain any mercury, making them a safer and more environmentally-friendly option

Tooth preservation

Less tooth structure needs to be removed during the preparation process, allowing for more conservative treatment

White fillings have become increasingly popular in modern dentistry due to their ability to restore teeth while maintaining a natural appearance and preserving as much of the original tooth structure as possible. They offer a practical and aesthetically pleasing solution for patients seeking a more discreet and attractive alternative to traditional metal fillings.

What is the difference between white fillings and traditional silver amalgam fillings?

White fillings and traditional silver amalgam fillings differ in several key aspects, including their composition, appearance, and properties. Understanding these differences can help you make an informed decision about which type of filling is more suitable for your needs.

Composition

White fillings

White fillings are made from a composite resin material consisting of plastic and fine glass particles

Silver amalgam fillings

Silver amalgam fillings are a mixture of mercury, silver, tin, copper, and other metals

Appearance

White fillings

White fillings are designed to match the natural colour of your teeth, providing a seamless and aesthetically pleasing result

Silver amalgam fillings

Silver amalgam fillings have a distinct metallic appearance that can be visible, especially in visible areas like front teeth

Durability

Silver amalgam fillings

Silver amalgam fillings are generally considered more durable and long-lasting, particularly for larger cavities or areas under high chewing pressure

White fillings

White fillings may not be as durable as amalgam fillings in certain cases, but advancements in composite resin technology have improved their longevity

Mercury Content

White fillings

White fillings are mercury-free, making them a safer and more environmentally-friendly option

Silver amalgam fillings

Silver amalgam fillings contain mercury, which has raised concerns about potential health risks and environmental impact

While both types of fillings serve the purpose of restoring damaged or decayed teeth, white fillings offer a more natural and aesthetically pleasing appearance, making them a popular choice, especially for visible areas. However, silver amalgam fillings may still be preferred in certain cases due to their durability and suitability for larger cavities or high-stress areas.

How long do white fillings typically last?

The lifespan of white fillings can vary depending on several factors, but with proper care and maintenance, they can last for many years. On average, white fillings are expected to last between 5 to 10 years, but some may last even longer.

Factors Affecting Lifespan

Size and location of the filling:

Smaller fillings on less stress-bearing areas tend to last longer than larger fillings on areas that experience high chewing forces.

Oral hygiene practices:

Good oral hygiene, including regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups, can help prolong the life of white fillings by preventing further tooth decay or damage.

Grinding or clenching habits:

Excessive grinding or clenching of teeth can put additional stress on fillings and cause them to wear down or become dislodged more quickly.

Diet and lifestyle habits:

Consuming foods and beverages that stain easily, such as coffee, tea, or red wine, can cause white fillings to discolour over time, potentially requiring replacement for aesthetic reasons.

It's important to note that white fillings are not permanent solutions and may need to be replaced eventually, even with proper care. Regular dental check-ups allow your dentist to monitor the condition of your fillings and determine if replacement is necessary. By following good oral hygiene practices and being mindful of habits that can impact the longevity of your fillings, you can help ensure they last as long as possible.

Are white fillings as durable as silver amalgam fillings?

The durability of white fillings has been a subject of ongoing research and debate. While traditional silver amalgam fillings have been considered more durable, particularly for larger cavities or high-stress areas, advancements in composite resin technology have significantly improved the durability of white fillings.

Factors Affecting Durability

Size and location of the filling:

White fillings may not be as durable as amalgam fillings for large cavities or areas that experience high chewing forces, such as molars. However, they perform well in smaller cavities or less stress-bearing areas.

Bonding strength:

White fillings bond directly to the tooth structure, providing a tight seal that can help prevent further decay or leakage. This bonding strength has improved over time, contributing to their durability.

Material composition:

The development of newer composite resin materials with improved physical properties, such as increased wear resistance and fracture toughness, has enhanced the durability of white fillings.

While silver amalgam fillings may still have an edge in terms of longevity for certain cases, the gap in durability between the two types of fillings has narrowed significantly. With proper placement techniques and advancements in material science, white fillings can now offer comparable durability to amalgam fillings in many situations, particularly for small to moderate-sized cavities.

Ultimately, the decision between white fillings and amalgam fillings will depend on factors such as the size and location of the cavity, your personal preferences, and your dentist's recommendation based on your specific needs and circumstances.

Are white fillings more expensive than silver fillings?

Yes, in general, white fillings tend to be more expensive than traditional silver amalgam fillings. The cost difference can vary depending on factors such as the location, the dentist's fees, and the specific materials used, but typically, white fillings are the more costly option.

Reasons for Higher Cost

Material cost:

The composite resin materials used in white fillings are more expensive than the materials used in silver amalgam fillings.

Placement technique:

Placing white fillings often requires more preparation time and a more precise technique compared to amalgam fillings, which can contribute to higher labour costs.

Aesthetic considerations:

White fillings are designed to match the natural shade of your teeth, which requires additional time and expertise from the dentist to achieve an accurate colour match.

It's important to keep in mind that while white fillings may have a higher upfront cost, they can offer several advantages over silver amalgam fillings, such as a more natural appearance, potential for more conservative tooth preparation, and the absence of mercury.

Many dental practices offer various payment options or financing plans to help make white fillings more accessible and affordable for patients. Additionally, some dental insurance plans may provide coverage or partial reimbursement for white fillings, depending on the specifics of your policy.

Ultimately, the decision between white fillings and silver amalgam fillings should be based on a combination of factors, including cost, aesthetic preferences, and your dentist's recommendation based on your individual needs and circumstances.

Can white fillings be used for all types of cavities or tooth decay?

Suitable Cases for White Fillings

Small to moderate-sized cavities

White fillings are an excellent choice for filling small to medium-sized cavities, especially in visible areas like front teeth, where aesthetics are a concern.

Early-stage tooth decay

When caught early, white fillings can effectively treat and restore areas of tooth decay, preventing further progression.

Chipped or cracked teeth

White fillings can be used to repair minor chips, cracks, or fractures in teeth, restoring their appearance and function.

Limitations of White Fillings

Large cavities or extensive decay

For larger cavities or situations involving significant tooth structure loss, silver amalgam fillings or other restorative options like crowns may be more suitable due to their increased durability and strength.

High-stress areas

Areas that experience heavy chewing forces, such as molars, may be better suited for more durable restorations like amalgam fillings or crowns, as white fillings can be more prone to wear or fracture under extreme stress.

Your dentist will carefully evaluate the extent and location of the cavity or tooth decay during your examination and recommend the most appropriate treatment option. In some cases, a combination of restorative materials or techniques may be employed to address your specific needs effectively.

What is the process of getting a white filling?

Getting a white filling typically involves a straightforward process that can usually be completed in a single appointment. Here's a general overview of the steps involved:

Preparation

1. Anesthesia

Your dentist will numb the area around the affected tooth using a local anesthetic to ensure your comfort during the procedure.

2. Decay removal

They will then use a dental drill or other instruments to remove any decayed or damaged tooth structure, creating a clean surface for the filling.

Placement

3. Etching

The surface of the prepared tooth will be etched or roughened to help the filling material adhere better.

4. Bonding agent

A bonding agent or adhesive may be applied to the tooth to further enhance the bond between the tooth and the filling material.

5. Filling placement

The composite resin filling material, which is a putty-like substance, will be carefully placed in layers and shaped to match the contours of your tooth.

6. Curing

Each layer of the filling material will be cured or hardened using a special curing light.

Finishing Touches

7. Bite adjustment

After the filling is fully cured, your dentist will check the bite and make any necessary adjustments to ensure proper fit and function.

8. Polishing

The filling will be polished and smoothed to blend seamlessly with your natural tooth structure.

The entire process typically takes 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the complexity of the case and the number of surfaces being treated. Your dentist will provide you with specific instructions for aftercare and any precautions you should take following the procedure.

How much do white dental fillings cost in the UK?

The cost of white dental fillings, also known as composite resin fillings, can vary depending on several factors, such as the size and location of the cavity, the complexity of the procedure, and the dental practice's pricing structure. However, here is a general overview of the cost range for white fillings in the UK:

NHS Dental Treatment

Band 2 treatment

If you are eligible for NHS dental treatment, white fillings for front teeth (incisors and canines) fall under Band 2 treatment, which currently has a fixed cost of £65.20 in England.

Band 3 treatment

White fillings for back teeth (premolars and molars) are considered Band 3 treatment under the NHS, with a current fixed cost of £282.80 in England.

Private Dental Treatment

Varying prices

The cost of white fillings at private dental practices can vary significantly, as each practice sets its own pricing structure.

Typical price range

On average, white fillings at private dental practices in the UK can range from £90 to £250 per filling, depending on the size and location of the cavity.

Additional Factors Affecting Cost

Dental insurance

If you have dental insurance, your policy may cover a portion of the cost of white fillings, reducing your out-of-pocket expense.

Geographic location

Prices for dental treatments, including white fillings, may vary depending on the location of the dental practice, with higher costs often associated with practices in more urban or affluent areas.

It is important to discuss the specific cost of your white filling treatment with your dentist during your consultation. They will be able to provide you with a more accurate estimate based on your individual needs and circumstances.

Are there any potential risks or side effects associated with white fillings?

While white fillings are generally considered safe and effective, there are some potential risks and side effects that you should be aware of. It's important to discuss these with your dentist and follow their recommendations for proper care and maintenance.

Potential Risks

Allergic reaction:

Although rare, some individuals may have an allergic reaction to the materials used in composite resin fillings, such as the plastic or glass components. Your dentist will typically review your medical history to identify any potential allergies or sensitivities.

Tooth sensitivity:

After getting a white filling, you may experience temporary tooth sensitivity to hot, cold, or sweet foods and beverages. This sensitivity usually subsides within a few weeks as the tooth adjusts to the new filling.

Fracture or dislodgement:

While white fillings are durable, they can potentially fracture or become dislodged if exposed to excessive chewing forces or trauma. This risk is higher for larger fillings or those placed in areas of high stress.

Potential Side Effects

Discoloration:

Over time, white fillings may discolor or stain, particularly if you consume foods or beverages that are known to cause staining, such as coffee, tea, or red wine. Regular dental cleanings and good oral hygiene can help minimize this risk.

Marginal leakage:

In some cases, the seal between the filling and the tooth may degrade over time, allowing bacteria and moisture to seep in, leading to potential decay or sensitivity. Regular check-ups can help identify and address any issues with marginal leakage.

It's important to note that these risks and side effects are generally uncommon, and your dentist will take all necessary precautions to minimize them. Additionally, following proper oral hygiene practices, avoiding habits that can compromise the integrity of the fillings, and attending regular dental check-ups can help ensure the longevity and success of your white fillings.

How do white fillings look compared to natural teeth?

One of the primary advantages of white fillings, also known as composite resin fillings, is their ability to blend seamlessly with the natural appearance of your teeth. When placed by a skilled dentist, white fillings can look virtually indistinguishable from your surrounding tooth structure, providing a natural and aesthetically pleasing result.

Seamless Color Match

Wide range of shades

White fillings are available in a wide range of tooth-colored shades, allowing your dentist to select a composite resin material that closely matches the natural color of your teeth.

Customizable material

The composite resin material can be customized and layered to mimic the translucency and unique characteristics of your tooth enamel, creating a lifelike appearance.

Blending with Tooth Structure

Matching tooth anatomy

The filling material is carefully shaped and contoured to match the anatomy and texture of your natural tooth, ensuring a smooth transition between the filling and the surrounding tooth structure.

Seamless integration

With proper placement and polishing techniques, white fillings can blend seamlessly with the curves and ridges of your tooth, making them virtually undetectable to the naked eye.

Maintaining a Natural Look

Adjusting over time

While white fillings may initially appear slightly brighter or more opaque than your natural teeth, they will gradually take on a more natural appearance over time as they adjust to your mouth's environment.

Oral hygiene and maintenance

Proper oral hygiene and regular dental cleanings can help maintain the natural look of your white fillings by preventing discoloration or staining.

With advances in composite resin technology and techniques, skilled dentists can create white fillings that are nearly indistinguishable from your natural teeth, providing a beautiful and natural-looking restoration that enhances your smile's appearance.

OPENING HOURS

Monday – Friday 9.00 – 18.00
Saturday 9.00 – 13.00
Sunday Closed

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