White fillings are the material of choice to rebuild tooth that’s been damaged by bacteria or trauma. They have many excellent properties including strength, durability, longevity and of-course aesthetics. The material that they are made from, is known as composite resin. It is an adaptable material that is bonded (glued) to help restore the tooth to its natural shape.
Should you get a white filling?
Generally speaking, yes. The preparation size for white fillings is more conservative than for the old metal amalgam fillings. They also are far more cosmetic and smaller in size than the alternatives which means they will last longer. Once more than a third of the tooth is missing, there are other options that make the teeth stronger. White fillings are great when there is still approximately two thirds of the natural tooth remaining. Once you pass this point, we would recommend crowns as an option worth considering.
How long do they last?
We expect white fillings to last between 5 years to 15 years, depending on the size of the filling, how clean the teeth are and how heavy the bite is. Generally speaking, the smaller the filling, the longer it will last.
How does the procedure work?
Generally, it involves some topical gel anaesthesia, followed by local anaesthetic with a tiny needle. Once the tooth is numb, any decay, cracks and fractures are prepared using our dental drills. Once the tooth preparation is complete, there are a few steps of conditioning, bonding and layering. The composite resin is fully set with a blue wavelength light. Once set, the filling is polished and adjusted to fit the bite and blend in with the cosmetics of the adjacent teeth. Recovery time is minimal with these procedures.