It's pretty hard to avoid having at least a few fillings at some point in your life. If you're concerned about your appearance and how your teeth look when you smile or laugh, then the last thing you want is a glint of silvery metal showing! Thankfully, modern technology has made fillings that are functional and natural looking a reality.
The modern alternative is a composite or "white" filling, so called because the material used can be made to match the natural shade, texture and translucency of your own teeth, giving you a much better appearance when you smile than a traditional amalgam "silver" filling would. Composite fillings are usually made from glass particles, synthetic resin and a setting agent.
Not all fillings require local anaesthetic but if it is necessary, we will inject into the gum around the tooth and then thoroughly clean the tooth surface so that the new composite filling will bond securely and easily. We then choose the correct shade of composite filler material to blend in with the natural colour of your teeth. A special gel is then used to cover the surface to which the composite filling is applied, after which a light source activates hardening and setting. The material may be built up in several layers in order to get the ideal shape and texture. Finally, the filling is polished and buffed to achieve a smooth finish.
Many "white" fillings are only available privately and the cost varies according to the type required and the length of time it takes to complete the work. Prices start from around £40 and at The Dental Studio Colchester we will always fully discuss the cost of your treatment with you beforehand. Modern materials mean that the lifetime of your "white" fillings should compare favourably with the amalgam type but as with any filling, it will depend on the location and the force of your bite. We will always advise you on what to expect. It may be possible to have "white" fillings under NHS rules but only on front teeth or the sides of back teeth.
Some people ask to have existing amalgam fillings replaced with tooth-coloured material but we usually recommend doing this only when replacement becomes necessary anyway, or in rare cases where a proven sensitivity to amalgam develops.
Talk to us about your preferences when your teeth need filling – you can still have confidence in your smile!