White fillings offer a more natural appearance than traditional amalgam (silver) or gold ones. Your dentist will help you decide the best option.
Traditionally, dentists have used ‘silver’ fillings to repair cavities, known as amalgam. More recently, technology and dentistry have advanced to offer ‘white’ fillings, which are typically more natural-looking and can be made from a variety of materials. They have become far more popular than silver fillings due to appearance and are more common than gold, which can come at a much higher cost.
The types of white fillings
Composite fillings are very common for patients looking for a natural look. The material is a composite resin comprised of plastic and ceramic compounds and is a durable option for small- and medium-sized fillings. They tend to be used mostly for front teeth where silver would stand out and generally be more noticeable. Composite fillings tend to cost more than amalgam options but less than gold fillings, and can usually be completed within one appointment.
Glass ionomer fillings are another type of ‘white’ filling. This material is only used for teeth in areas where you do not bite down hard, as research is still being conducted into how durable and long-lasting this option is. One of the best things about glass ionomer fillings is that they contain fluoride, which helps to protect the tooth against further decay.
Porcelain materials are the last type of white filling. These are very durable, look natural, and are a mix of porcelain and metal materials. As the filling is created in a dental lab, it will typically take two visits to the dentist to complete the treatment. Porcelain materials also cost more than most other filling options.
How do I know if a white filling is right for me?
Your dentist will let you know when you need a filling to treat a cavity. From there, he or she can talk you through all of the options – including white fillings, amalgam (silver) fillings, or even gold fillings. He or she may advise you on a specific type by taking into account your own dental health, the placement of the cavity and your priorities for the treatment, such as whether you prefer a natural white look.
Contact Palmerston Dental Surgery on 08 8932 1544 for more information on fillings and to book an appointment.