Most people have fillings of one sort or another in their mouths. Nowadays fillings are not only functional, but can also be natural looking (cosmetic). Many people don’t want silver fillings that show when they laugh or smile because they are more conscious about the way they look.
There is also a slight chance that some people may be sensitive (allergic) to the metals used in silver amalgam fillings. If this sensitivity is proven, it may be best to replace the amalgam fillings with another type of restoration/filling.
Comparison With Amalgam Fillings
White fillings have in the past been considered less long lasting than silver amalgam fillings. But there are now new materials available with properties comparable to amalgam, and these are proving very successful. The life expectancy of a white filling can depend greatly on where the filling is in your mouth and how heavily your teeth come together when you bite (your occlusion).
Replacing Amalgams With White Filling Material
It is usually best to change fillings only when your dentist decides that an old filling needs replacing. If so, you can then consider replacing the old fillings with a tooth-coloured material.
Sometimes it is not practical to place white fillings in back teeth, as they are not always successful.
One way round filling a back tooth with a tooth coloured material is to consider using crowns, inlays or onlays.
What Are White Fillings Made Of?
This can vary, but they are mainly made of glass particles, synthetic resin and a setting ingredient. The two main types of adhesive white fillings are called composite and glass ionomera.