What types of tooth fillings does Harley House Dental Practice offer?
Our dentists can offer the cavity filling that best suits their patient’s preference, including:
- Amalgam, silver fillings
- Composite resins, or tooth-coloured fillings
What are cavities & fillings?
Why are most tooth fillings silver?
A silver tooth filling is made from dental amalgam. This has been the traditional standard of care in NHS dentistry for many years of its cheap cost and durability, and therefore its affordability when compared to other cavity filling materials (dental composites and ceramics).
The durability of silver amalgam fillings make them the best choice for large cavities or cavities that occur in the back teeth. These molar teeth are used significantly during chewing, and a lot of force is needed. Amalgam fillings can be capable of withstanding chewing forces but do not provide any support to the natural tooth so amalgam filled teeth have a greater chance of tooth fracture. Due to the metal content they can conduct heat and cold so the tooth may have sensitivity. Recent government guidelines have stated the ban of mercury amalgam filling in children so please speak to the dentist regarding an alternative.
Is the mercury in silver tooth fillings safe?
Dental amalgam includes mercury content, but when combined with the other metals it offers a safe, stable material for filling cavities but it is now banned to be used in children. UK law states that dental amalgam should not be used in the treatment of deciduous teeth, in children under 15 years-old, and in pregnant or breastfeeding women, except when deemed strictly necessary by a dentist based on the specific medical needs of the patient. Where we can we will offer an alternative to mercury amalgam fillings.
Are tooth-coloured fillings available?
Tooth-coloured fillings have grown in popularity over recent years because they are aesthetically more pleasing when compared with silver fillings. Made from composite resins, natural-coloured fillings are most suited for small-to-medium-sized fillings that do not require the strength to withstand as much chewing pressure as molar teeth. Compared to mercury/amalgam fillings the composite fillings do take a little longer but also greatly reinforce the tooth so that fractures of filled teeth are less likely. For larger restoration and larger cavities dental onlays and crowns are recommended.