About White Fillings
For centuries cavities in back teeth were repaired with amalgam (silver) fillings. At first white fillings were only used on front teeth because the white filling materials in the past were not as strong as amalgam, and so could not withstand the heavier chewing forces of molar teeth. In recent times there have been significant advances in dental materials, so that now white fillings are much better in many ways when compared to amalgam fillings.
- Improved appearance – they look and feel just like natural teeth.
- More conservative – white fillings bond to the tooth, so the tooth often requires less preparation when compared to amalgam fillings where more of the tooth is drilled to prevent the filling falling out.
- Strength – white fillings can be used to strengthen a tooth where a large amalgam filling may not be suitable.
- Less environmental impact – white fillings do not contain mercury, they are kinder to the environment.
- If the size of the filling is in excess of 60% of the tooth structure, then an inlay or crown, usually made of ceramic (such as CEREC) may be advised.