Dental Fillings & Inlays

What are dental fillings & inlays?

Let’s be honest. Fillings are never anyone’s favourite dental treatment. But when you lose part of a tooth through wear, damage or decayThe lay term for carious lesions in a tooth; decomposition of tooth structure., they are a great way to build your tooth back again. 

Where a fillingA lay term used for the restoring of lost tooth structure by using materials such as metal, alloy, or porcelain. is needed your Dentist will carefully remove any damage or decay and restore the tooth to its original size and shape with a strong and durable filling. 

There are two types of filling that are offered by most Dentists. AmalgamSingle surface silver filling. filling are greyish in colour and usually given to patients as part of routine NHS treatment, when a filling is required. 

White or compositeSingle surface composite filling (white or tooth colored) performed on a tooth in the front of the mouth. fillings (as they are sometimes known), are moulded to the exact shape of your tooth and set using a blue light. This putty-like resin-based material is lifelike and long lasting, making them a popular choice. 

If your Dentist sees the need for a filling during one of your regular dental check-ups, it can often be done at the same appointment. Otherwise another appointment will be booked you can come back to have the filling done as soon as possible. 

Your Dentist will prepare your tooth for filling. They will numb the area, remove any decay or weak areas of the tooth and shape it to hold the filling in place. They will then wash and dry the tooth, using water and air blown onto it. They then apply and shape the filling on the tooth. We find that most patients feel a little discomfort while this is done if they have sensitive teeth.  

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I found this practice to be fantastic. I have have been seen quickly and have had excellent treatment. The staff are very helpful and polite. I cannot recommend them highly enough.
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Frequently asked questions

Why should I consider white fillings?
White and amalgam fillings are both long lasting when cared for properly. However, most patients find white fillings a little more appealing as the colour matches your natural teeth better than amalgam.
Most patients consider a white filling in order to keep the filling colour the same as their natural teeth and make the filling look more discrete.
Why are white fillings more expensive?
If you have a tooth that needs filling, amalgam (silver) fillings are a good option and will repair your tooth. White fillings give a more cosmetic finish, as they are the same colour as your teeth, and there is an extra cost involved for this option.

As a treatment, white fillings are a more delicate technique than silver fillings. The white filling has to be built up slowly to minimise shrinkage, which can cause sensitivity, pain or even reduce the lifespan of the filling. Therefore, it will usually take longer for your dentist to put in a white filling.
Can you have white fillings on the NHS?
The NHS covers the cost of any necessary dental work. In anterior (front) teeth white fillings will usually be used. However, when it comes to posterior (back) teeth, amalgam (a silver filling) is the usually the first choice. If you would prefer to have a white filling please talk to your dentist about any additional costs.
Do fillings hurt?
As with all our treatments, we aim to keep you as comfortable as possible throughout. Your Dentist will talk to you about what is going to happen and how the treatment will be given. You can ask any questions and talk about any concerns before the treatment begins. We are here to put you at your ease, so don’t worry, you’re in good hands.
How long do I have to have fillings in for?
With proper care, your filling should last as long as your tooth does. This means caring for your filling as part of your daily oral care routine. This would include regular brushing, flossing and dental check ups. If there are any issues with your filling, you should make an appointment with your Dentist to discuss this.
How can I care for my fillings?
Caring for your fillings is the same as caring for your teeth. Regular brushing and flossing, as well as regular trips to the dentist will keep you oral health, including any fillings, in tip top shape.
What are amalgam/composite fillings?
Amalgam fillings are the traditional (silver) fillings which have been used in dentistry for a very long time.  They are extremely hard wearing and still used extensively in dentistry.  Composite fillings are (white) fillings which can be bonded to the teeth and most importantly colour matched to your teeth making the fillings, in many cases, almost invisible.
What are fillings made of?
Amalgam (silver) fillings are made of a mixture of metals including mercury, silver, tin and copper. Composite (white) fillings are made of a mixture of resin and glass.
Do fillings have mercury in them?
Amalgam (silver) fillings do contain small amounts of mercury.  This can be a common concern but to date there has been no scientific evidence of any harmful effects of using dental amalgam.

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