Tooth Coloured Fillings

What are Tooth coloured fillings?

Over the past 30 years, the materials used to create white fillings have rapidly developed and become just as effective as traditional amalgam fillings. Composite fillings (also known as tooth coloured fillings) are the most common white filling material used to fill cavities and gaps in the teeth. Designed to match the colour of natural teeth, they can be used in any part of the mouth while remaining discreet and difficult to detect.

Composite fillings are bonded to the tooth, which supports the remaining structure and helps reduce the amount of tooth removed before filling. This binding quality also allows composites to be used to build up broken teeth as an alternative to crowns.

Material options

The materials used to create composite fillings vary, but often they are made from powdered glass, quartz and silica with a resin base. These modern materials create a strong and durable filling that matches the natural tooth colour and blends in to the mouth.

The treatment process

Composite fillings require the tooth to be clean and dry before insertion, and as such the tooth must be isolated and prepared before the composite can be applied. A solution is placed on the tooth to aid the bonding of the filling, and this must also be washed and dried.

The bonding agent is then applied to the tooth, following by the composite filling, which is spread across the cavity to fill all gaps in the tooth. A blue light is then used to set the fillings, before the tooth is polished and covered in a resin for a natural finish.

The life span of each filling depends on the extent of the cavity and its placement within the mouth. However, composite fillings now last almost as long as traditional amalgam fillings, often lasting for 10 years before they require replacement.

Where can I have a composite filling?

Composite fillings can be placed anywhere in the mouth, including on the front teeth and on biting surfaces in the back of the mouth. Although back composites aren’t expected to last as long as those inserted on to front teeth, they have been developed to last almost as long as traditional silver amalgam fillings.

Do composite fillings contain harmful substances?

Composites do not contain any harmful substances, making them a good alternative to traditional fillings. Although silver amalgam has been shown to be safe, many people are concerned about the presence of mercury within the substance, which many argue leads to long-term health problems. Silver amalgam fillings are also more prone to contracting and expanding like any other metal over time, which can damage the remaining tooth structure.

white fillings

By Dr Zuber Bagasi