What Are White Tooth Fillings?
White tooth fillings are a plastic mixture mixed with glass that is the same color as a tooth. When they were first developed, they weren’t durable enough to be used on anything but the front teeth, but the technology has advanced so that they are becoming the preferred method for all teeth.
The fact that they can be made to be the exact color as the surrounding teeth make them less visible and more aesthetically pleasing. Composites are also used as a way to change the color of the teeth or reshape them to look as natural as possible.
It’s not hard to understand why they are so popular. Cavities are going to happen sometimes and who wants a mouth full of silver? That said, there are more than just cosmetic reasons for why they are a great option.
How Are White Fillings Placed?
At first, the process proceeds as it does for any filling – the dental cavity is drilled to create a hole for the filling substance. This process takes longer than silver ones because they are placed one layer at a time using a special light to harden the filling between each layer. After the drilled area is filled, the dentist will shape the final layer so that it fits in with the surface of the tooth.
What Are Some Advantages of Getting White Fillings?
As we’ve already said, the main advantage is aesthetics. The color can be blended to match the actual tooth, making them nearly invisible. But there are some practical advantages too, including:
- Composite white fillings bond to the tooth offering more support to the remaining structure, whereas silver ones fill in space
- Smaller fillings can be made which will better protect the integrity of the tooth
- For problems with any of the front teeth, this will keep them looking natural
- They are less sensitive to heat and cold
- Most of the time, the filling can be repaired if they crack or break. With amalgam, the whole thing would have to be removed and replaced
Are There Any Disadvantages?
The area needs to be completely dry for the white filling to be placed, which is obviously a difficult thing to do with a mouth full of moisture.
The composite white fillings can stain if you drink tea or coffee, just like your natural teeth. They also can wear down more quickly than the surrounding teeth. However, if this happens it will be easy for your dentist to add additional layers to it.
For large cavities, a silver amalgam filling will last a little longer than white ones do, although each will last 7 – 10 years.
Do I Need to Replace My Silver Fillings with White Ones?
In most cases, no. As your fillings age and need repairing, your dentist will typically begin to switch them all over to white. But there is no need to have any of them removed for the purpose of replacing them with a white composite.
Taking Care of Your White Fillings
The best way to care for a filling is to treat it like a normal tooth and continue performing good oral care by brushing twice a day and flossing once a day. We recommend visiting the dentist twice a year for checkups and stay away from too many sugary snacks.
Remember, the best way to care for your filling is not to get them in the first place. Oral hygiene should be taken seriously for preventative action.
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