It might come as a surprise to you, but white or tooth-coloured Cosmetic Fillings aren’t just for filling cavities or replacing old silver amalgam fillings – they can also be used at the front of the mouth to close gaps, to build up or restore uneven teeth and to renew dark teeth. However, they may need periodic resurfacing, especially if stained through smoking.
It’s true that amalgams invariably last longer (although recent advances have meant that Cosmetic Fillings can now be made from materials comparable to amalgam), but many people simply don’t like the fact they show when they talk or laugh plus there’s the ongoing debate surrounding their mercury content.
In fact, Cosmetic Fillings can often produce quite dramatic improvements whilst still offering what is frequently a more affordable option compared to other restorative treatments.
They also represent a minimally invasive option, with less of the natural tooth generally having to be removed. As Dentists, our overriding concern is always to protect and conserve as much of the natural tooth for as long as possible, which is why we’re always reluctant to replace old silver amalgams for purely cosmetic reasons.
Cosmetic Fillings now come in a wide range of shades and degrees of translucency, meaning they can be readily matched to the natural tooth. They also reflect the light in the same way as tooth enamel, again helping to make them look natural.
However, Cosmetic Fillings are highly technique-sensitive, as they require a completely dry treatment surface which is, of course, tricky to achieve in the mouth! There’s also the problem of shrinkage during setting, although one of our preferred ways to avoid this is by using white composite inlays. With these, an impression is taken and the filling made in the lab, so it can be rebuilt to the original dimensions following any shrinkage before going in the mouth.
See the results for yourself in our Cosmetic Dentistry Before & After Gallery.
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