A white filling is a tooth-coloured plastic and glass mixture created to restore decayed teeth. White fillings are used to treat cavities in your mouth. During a scale and clean, your dentist will detect any cavities and then fill the missing area of the tooth with composite resin. Composite resin provides a natural and aesthetically pleasing look
What is the procedure?
Composite fillings can be done in one visit. During this appointment, the tooth will be assessed and prepared, any decay is removed before the layers of composite resin are placed in the tooth. In serious cases of tooth decay, your dentist may use a numbing agent prior to removing tooth decay. A primer may be used to open pores in the enamel and dentin, followed by a bonding agent for curing. Curing prepares the bonding agent to adhere to the tooth coloured filling material.
Once the layers are placed, a light is used to strengthen each layer. When this process is over, your dentist will shape the composite resin to fit the tooth. It will then be polished to protect it from normal wear and staining. Your tooth is completely restored by the end of the appointment.
Following the procedure, your mouth may remain numb from the anaesthetic, this will wear off over a couple of hours, as will any tooth sensitivity.
Advantages of white fillings
- Provide an aesthetic natural look in colour and appearance.
- Bonding restores 85% to 95% of the original strength of the tooth
- Harden in a few seconds
- Minimal repairable if damaged
How long do white fillings last?
The lifetime of a white filling will depend on a number of factors including the location and the amount of pressure it is under. During your appointment, your dentist will be able to advise you on the life span of the filling. Commonly, you can expect it to last seven to 10 years.
Disclaimer: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.