Aesthetic Alternatives to Amalgam Fillings

Cosmetic fillings are changing how our teeth look.

Whilst many people will opt to have a teeth whitening procedure done in order to improve the colour of their teeth, this can still leave some patients of The Lodge Dental Suite with the problem of teeth that have been filled with regular amalgam fillings. Whilst amalgam is a very strong material that has been in use for many years, it is highly visible and can be easily noticed, even in the rear teeth, when we laugh.

In addition to this, there is the ongoing debate about the use of mercury in the amalgam filling, and whilst the consensus is that this is safe, some have recommended for it to be phased out over a period of time. We do stress however, that current, official medical guidance is that amalgam fillings are safe.

Alternatives

There are three main alternatives to dark amalgam fillings which our patients from the Cheshunt and Enfield area in Hertfordshire can opt for.

Composite fillings

Composite can be useful for filling very minor cavities, but is generally used to restore small chips, especially on the front teeth. It does however have the disadvantages of being slightly porous and therefore prone to discolouration. It also lacks the strength of other alternatives, making it unsuitable for the rear teeth especially.

Inlays and Onlays

Inlays and onlays are similar to dental crowns in that they are usually made from porcelain. Where crowns are attached to the top of a tooth though, inlays are placed into the cavity after impressions have been taken to ensure an exact fit. Inlays and Onlays though, are generally used only on teeth where very large fillings are required and would, in most cases, be ‘overkill’ for a standard filling.

White fillings

Tooth coloured fillings, which are now available at the Lodge Dental Suite, have been around for a number of years. Until relatively recently though, these were not considered to offer the strength of amalgam and were used only for more cosmetic purposes, on the front teeth, and not the rear teeth which take a lot of pressure from chewing. Modern advances though, have given white fillings additional strength and they are now sometimes suitable for use on the rear teeth too.

These new and stronger tooth coloured fillings not only allow the patient to eat without worrying about them breaking, but will also reveal a great looking set of teeth when they smile.

To find out more about white teeth fillings and other alternatives to amalgam, please call the Lodge Dental Suite of Cheshunt on 01992 643388.