A closer look at this increasingly popular alternative to amalgam fillings.
Most of us will probably have had a filling at some point in our lives. In most cases, at least some of these will have been filled using the standard amalgam dental fillings that have been around for a very long time. Amalgam does provide an extremely strong material to fill a tooth, but, at the same time, it would be hard to find a filling material that was more obviously noticeable!
There is also the fact that mercury is one of the components of amalgam (along with other metals). Although its use has been deemed to be safe by the British Dental Association, some patients are still concerned about potential health implications and the general guidance for dentists is to reduce its use over a period of time.
Alternatives to amalgam
In the past, the ‘problem’ of replacing amalgam fillings with more natural looking, mercury free ones, has not been their lack of availability, but the lack of strength that they provided. Until recently, the use of cosmetic white fillings was deemed to be suitable only where relatively little force would be placed upon the tooth in question. But recent advances mean that The Clock Tower Dental Clinic in Epsom can now offer our local patients a natural coloured dental filling which has been shown to be strong enough for all but larger fillings. Our patients can now kiss goodbye to dark coloured amalgam fillings with confidence!
Pros of white fillings
The most obvious benefit of having white dental fillings is the fact that they look natural and there are no dark fillings visible when you smile. This can significantly boost a person’s confidence, especially in social situations. For patients concerned about the use of mercury in amalgam fillings, white dental fillings are mercury free and offer an unarguably safe way of filling a tooth.
From a dental viewpoint, white fillings also offer the benefit that, due to their bonding ability, less of the natural tooth has to be removed before the filling is completed.
There are few ‘cons’ to using teeth coloured fillings. The only one being that, despite the fact that they can be used in most situations, they may still not offer sufficient strength for large rear tooth fillings. Because of the force that is applied in these areas when chewing food, alternatives such as crowns, inlays or onlays may be used as a stronger alternative.
Even if you currently have amalgam fillings, our Epsom cosmetic dentists are fully trained to remove these safely should you wish, and can then re-fill the cavity using white fillings. If you would like to discuss the option of having mercury free fillings instead of your amalgam ones, please contact the Clock Tower Dental Practice on 01372 720136.