Ask Your Local Dentist – Cosmetic Fillings

A Hertfordshire patient asks about tooth coloured fillings.

Amalgam fillings have long been standard when a tooth has suffered relatively minor decay. Times are changing though, and this patient is not the only one seeking a nicer looking solution.

Q. My teeth are generally in good condition, but I did have one filled a few years ago which has ‘bugged’ me ever since. It was a fairly large filling and it is really noticeable when I laugh or yawn.

I know it’s only a minor thing but I’m very self concious about it. Last week a small piece broke off it and I’m pretty sure I should see a dentist to have it re-done and I’m interested in the white fillings that you offer. Could you explain a bit more about these please.

Thanks for your question, and the simple answer is that we can certainly provide a nicer looking solution for you than the dark amalgam that you currently have.

I would say though that you should not leave it too long to have this done if the filling has broken. Even if it is a clean break, it may have left some of the inner tooth exposed, or there may be tiny cracks in the rest of the amalgam that you can’t see, but which bacteria can enter, possibly accessing the roots of the tooth where the nerves are stored. If this happens and the canals become infected, you may well end up needing root canal treatment to save the tooth.

Having established that you should act quickly, I would recommend that you pop along to our dental practice which is based close to your hometown of Waltham Cross, where we can, first of all, take a look at the tooth to make sure that there is no further decay or damage. If your tooth simply requires a new filling, we can certainly offer our cosmetic white versions. These fillings are made to match the shade of your natural tooth, and, once filled, will be virtually invisible to others when you laugh or yawn.

You don’t say which tooth it is that is filled and how large the filling is? White fillings are now much stronger than they used to be and can be used in most applications. If the filling to be replaced is very large though and is for a rear tooth that is used heavily for chewing, it may be better to look at an inlay or onlay instead to maintain the required strength. These are also white so have the same cosmetic effect.

I should perhaps mention here that white fillings are viewed as ‘cosmetic’ and are therefore not available on the NHS and have to be paid for privately. I would recommend paying us a visit at The Lodge Dental Suite and let us take a look at the damaged filling. We can discuss from there if you wish to go ahead with a white filling to replace it.

Please call us today at our Hertfordshire dental practice on 01992 643388.