A filling replaces part of a tooth that has been lost as a result of decay or an accident. White fillings are advantageous as they closely match the natural tooth colour and appearance, unlike amalgam and gold fillings. White fillings are made of a mixture of resin and glass whilst amalgam fillings contain mercury.
How are the teeth filled with the dental composite?
Firstly, any existing plaque is removed with the tooth being cleaned and dried. To facilitate the bonding process, the surface of the tooth is coated with an adhesive gel. The white filling is then placed in the area needed filling and then moulded to match the tooth contours. A UV light is then used to harden the composite before it is trimmed and polished to look as natural as the tooth.
What is the difference between direct and indirect white fillings?
Direct dental bonding is placed on your tooth by the restorative dentist, shaped to place for optimal aesthetics and cured or “dried” in place on your tooth, directly. On the other hand, indirect dental bonding requires an additional laboratory step for the filling to be dried and cured. As a result, an impression or mould of your teeth is required and therefore the process is considerably longer. Indirect dental bonding is useful when large restorations are required in order to minimise the shrinkage caused during the curing and drying process. This type of bonding is also more common when fillings are needed for the posterior teeth.
What are the benefits over other types of fillings?
- They are more aesthetically pleasing
- They do not contain mercury
- Composite fillings are insulated
- Bond better to teeth helping to avoid breakage
- Can be repaired if damaged