What Are The Options For Dental Fillings?

The British Dental Health Foundation has found that in the UK, 84% of all adults have at least one or more fillings. Fillings are now a common aspect of dental health and as such, there are now a number of different types of dental filling and options for patients. If your recent trip to the dentist has revealed that you’re in need of a filling, we’ll help run through the options for you so that you can make a decision you’ll be most comfortable with for the long term.

Dental fillings can be directly placed in a cavity or can be ‘indirect’, whereby an impression of your tooth is taken for a custom filling to be fitted around it. There are also a variety of filling materials which can be used to restore your tooth, all of which have their own advantages:

Amalgam fillings

Amalgam, or silver fillings, are the traditional form of filling, using a combination of metals to improve the tooth structure and function. Amalgam fillings are typically composed of around 50% mercury, combined with silver, tin and copper. They have been used in dentistry for many years, however concerns over the use of mercury has left people seeking alternative filling solutions.

An advantage of having an amalgam filling is that the most minimal possible healthy tooth structure is removed to fill the cavity. Silver fillings are also a cost-effective solution to fill teeth due to the silver colour, which does darken over time.

Gold fillings

Gold dental fillings will usually contain around 75% gold, with a mixture of palladium, silver and other metals. Gold is extremely bio-compatible and gold fillings are known for being smooth and kind to opposing teeth, helping to maintain a healthy bite.

Due to the expensive nature of gold and the fact that dental fillings have to be manufactured by a highly skilled dental technician, they can be much more expensive than alternative filling materials.

Tooth coloured fillings

Tooth coloured fillings are a white composite filling, giving you the appearance of a natural, healthy tooth. Though the materials used can vary, white fillings are usually composed from glass particles, synthetic resin and a setting ingredient. White fillings have become a very popular choice in dentistry, as they can be relatively inexpensive, provide a natural look and feel and have a good clinical backing.

Although white fillings have always been considered less long lasting than amalgam or gold fillings, there are now new materials available with comparable properties, which have successfully increased their life span. The longevity of a tooth coloured filling will depend greatly on where it is in your mouth and how heavily your teeth come together when you bite. Many people are opting for white fillings because they can be undetectable, giving people the confidence to smile, laugh or eat without feeling self-conscious about their appearance.

JDRM Dental Care specialise in a range of private and NHS cosmetic and preventative dental services, for your perfect smile. If you’d like more advice on the options and alternatives for dental fillings, or to speak to one of our experts on getting a white filling, simply call us on 01530 811 303 or get in touch on marlboroughdental@jdrmdentalcare.co.uk.