White Fillings

A filling replaces part of a tooth that has been lost because of decay or accidental damage. Unlike silver (amalgam) fillings, white fillings stick to teeth so they can be used to repaire teeth, which have been chipped, broken or decayed. They can sometimes be used in back teeth if there is not too much decay or damage. Patient will probably hear the dentist talk about ‘Composite’ or ‘Glass Ionomer’, these are just various types of white fillings.

White fillings are the same colour as teeth. They come in a range of shades so they can be matched to the colour of your own teeth. A tooth needs less preparation for a white filling than for a silver filling. White fillings also sticky so they can be used to reshape and rebuild broken edges or worn teeth. Teeth coloured (White) Fillings can also be used to cover discolouration, if they can’t be removed by cleaning.

Silver-Mercury Fillings

A filling replaces part of a tooth that has been lost because of decay or through accidental damage. Silver Fillings are made of Amalgam – a mixture of mercury with silver, tin & sometimes coper.

Silver – Mercury fillings rebuilds the tooth so you can chew. Amalgam is soft and mouldable at first but quickly becomes very hard. These fillings are very strong so they can be ideal for back teeth where there is heavy wear from chewing. Amalgam contains mercury, which is a workplace risk to the staff, and is considered by many a risk in the body.

At MMSDC – We don’t prefer Silver – Amalgam Fillings to our patients.

Large Fillings

There are a number of considerations to take into account when a large filling is necessary. In heavily filled teeth where the filling is close to the pulpal tissue there is usually some decay present that must be removed.

Amalgam fillings don’t seal the cavity completely but rely on the chemical effect the silver and the mercury in them to act as a bacteriostatic agent to slow the spread of bacteria under the filling. This means that where is some mild infection under the filling that may be causing some inflammation of the nerve tissue, there is no pressure build up as it can leak away. Compared to it, bonded composite fillings do seal the tooth completely. In about 95% of these situations, once the new filling is in place the tooth settles down quite quickly with just a little sensitivity for the first few days. In about 5% of cases the inflammation doesn’t settle because the nerve has already been affected too much, and the initial discomfort gets progressively worse as the pressure increases until it can cause really severe pain. This accelerates the problem and can lead to an abscess quite quickly.