1. What is a dental filling?

Dental filling is a way to restore a decayed tooth by placing filling material in the cavity for it to look normal and function normally.

2. What are the different fillings available?

The different filling available is gold, silver amalgam and tooth colored white fillings.
The different white fillings are porcelain, composite and glassionomer cements.

3. When are the white fillings done?

White coloured or tooth coloured fillings in addition to restoring the teeth that have fractured or decayed are also used cosmetically to change the size, colour and shape of the teeth. These fillings can also help in closing gaps between teeth, repairing chipped teeth.

4. How do I choose from the white fillings?

The dentist may help the patient in choosing the filling depending upon the different factors like:

  • Composites: these are the best option for patients who want to conceal the fact that they have a filling, they are more aesthetic but take longer time on the dental chair.
  • Ceramic: these fillings are made of porcelain and it is very good at resisting stains so it retains colour for longer than composites
  • Glass ionomer:contains acrylic and very specific glass compound .they are used for cavities below gumline or in the mouths of children because it releases fluoride which strengthens the tooth.

5. How long does a white filling lasts?

Composite fillings wear out faster than ceramic filling .composite filling average lifespan is 5 years, ceramic filling lasts around 10 to 15 years, glass ionomer cement is less resistant to wear and tear and typically need to be replaced after 5 years or so.

6. What are the advantages of white fillings?

White coloured fillings like composite resin or porcelain can be tinted to any shade of white and aesthetically pleasing.
White fillings are more stable when exposed to hot and cold liquids and foods compared to metal filling that expand and contract;
They may be as strong as amalgam fillings depending upon the exact size and placement of the filling. They do not require as much drilling as amalgam fillings.

7. Do my white fillings get stained?

Composite fillings may get stained when exposed to substances like coffee, red wine, black tea or tobacco. Ceramic fillings are resistant to stains.

8. What are disadvantages of white fillings?

White fillings are more costly than others.
There may be shrinkage while curing leading to sensitivity
They take longer time in dentist office.
They are not as durable as silver fillings.

9. What is the procedure of composite resin filling placement?

The Cavity is prepared and composite is placed in layers using a light specialized to harden each layer. When the process is finished the composite is shaped to fit the tooth and polished to prevent staining and early wear.

10. How do I maintain white fillings?

Regular brushing and flossing with soft toothbrush twice daily
Do not use abrasive toothpaste
Reduce exposure to tobacco, smoking coffee, red wine etc
Do not rinse with mouth washes containing alcohol
Do not use your teeth for opening packages, biting thread, chewing ice, nail biting etc
Visiting dentist regularly for checkups.