The NHS regulations limit what treatment can be done on certain teeth. This means that, although certain teeth can be filled with white fillings, with some cavities, particularly holes in back teeth, we can only offer to fill with amalgam (silver coloured) fillings. Although there is mercury in dental amalgam, once it is compounded with the other materials in the amalgam filling its chemical nature is changed, rendering it harmless.
More natural looking tooth-coloured fillings can be provided privately in most cases:
Many people worry about having mercury fillings in their mouths, even though there has never been any evidence found of problems caused by these fillings. If you are thinking about replacing your fillings then it is worth considering:
When white fillings are placed, the shade of filling material used will be matched as closely as possible to the shade of your natural teeth. This means that a filling may be visible on close examination, but will appear almost invisible in normal day-to-day life. Obviously a smaller filling will be harder to see than a large filling.
There alternative methods of placing tooth coloured restoration on back teeth, such as crowns or inlays which can be much stronger than fillings, however these come with their own disadvantages. These more costly restorations have to be built in a lab, taking typically 2 weeks during which time the patient is fitted with a temporary restoration. An alternative is available in a single session using CEREC ceramic restoration, but this technique is more costly again. Each of these alternatives may require removal of more healthy tooth. Your dentist will be able to tell you what alternatives are best for you.
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