Traditionally back teeth used to be filled with amalgam which is a metallic material silver in colour.Although amalgam remains an excellent filling material with good strength and durability there are a few disadvantages in comparison to white fillings.
White fillings are obviously tooth coloured and blend in with the surrounding tooth structure and adjacent teeth.White fillings also do not contain mercury which is a constituent of amalgam and is a toxic substance.
White fillings also are just as strong and durable as amalgam and so do not require replacement as often.Huge advancements in the technology of white filling materials -or composites-have been made in recent years.
Composites can also be used in situations where amalgam is less effective-namely when there is little tooth remaining and the composites can chemically bond onto the tooth .Therefore teeth can be saved when previously extraction or crowning would have been the only options.
White fillings are used in both front and back teeth.We at Riverside Dental Practice routinely offer all our patients
the choice of white fillings in back teeth.The majority of fillings we place now are white and we use excellent quality materials.We have a huge experience in placing them and they don’t take much longer than using amalgams.
Also white fillings are set or cured with a blue light which means they are hard straight away and can therefore be chewed on immediately,unlike amalgam.
White fillings on back teeth are available on the NHS in certain situations-namely children under 15 years of age.Otherwise white fillings are available privately.However having white fillings done on molars does not affect your entitlement to other NHS treatments such as check ups and scalings.
Overall white fillings are strongly recommended in most situations and don’t hesitate to ask about them at your next appointment.