A white filling is a composite of glass and plastic that is used to fill or restructure a tooth. They have largely replaced the older amalgam filling made from a mixture of metals. Dentists layer the composite and bind it using a specialised light focused on the tooth. Following this process the composite is shaped to fill or restructure the tooth. Finally the filling is polished to increase durability and prevent staining.
WHAT TO EXPECT
The process is similar to traditional tooth fillings with the exception of light used to bind the composite together.
Composites can be blended to match the exact colour of the tooth. Amalgam fillings are composites of metals that contain mercury to give them pliability - many people are concerned about the use of mercury in dentistry, particularly during pregnancy.
The composite colour may change due to staining from tea, coffee or tobacco. They are slightly less hard-wearing than traditional silver/amalgam fillings.
Many studies have compared the longevity of composite restorations to the longevity of silver-mercury amalgam restorations. Depending on the skill of the dentist, patient characteristics and the type and location of damage, composite restorations can have similar longevity to amalgam restorations. In comparison to amalgam, the aesthetics of composite restorations are far superior.