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Routine Fillings FAQs

Routine Fillings FAQs
What are routine fillings?
    Routine fillings are restorations that are either silver,golden or white in colour.
Why would I need a filling?
    Fillings can be used to replace tooth tissue lost through decay, chipping, wear and tear and abrasion.
What materials can you use?
    There are a few materials available including amalgam, metal alloy, composite and porcelain. Composites are usually the preferred option as they are available in many shades and can be matched to your natural tooth for a seemingly invisible filling. These fillings also bond better to the tooth but are not always successful if the filling is very large. If this is the case then crowns, inlay or veneers that are made of alloy or porcelain may be recommended.
How long will my filling last?
    The expected life of a filling is 10-12 years but this varies depending on the styles of restoration, the types of the materials used, the state of the tooth and how well you care for them.
Can I change my silver fillings for white ones?
    Amalgam fillings can be changed for the more aesthetically pleasing composite or porcelain fillings. In some cases we may recommend leaving your fillings until they have come to the end of their life as each time you change a filling you have to remove more tooth tissue.


Can I have tooth whitening if I have fillings in my front teeth?
    I want to have my teeth whitened but I have fillings in my front teeth. Will these whiten too?
    No. Only your natural tooth substance can whiten. Fillings, crowns and veneers will not change shade during the whitening procedure.
    Your dentist will be able to discuss alternatives for you so that once you have finished tooth whitening, you can have your fillings replaced to your new lighter shade.


What can I do about the appearance of my amalgam fillings?
    I don't like the appearance of my amalgam fillings. What can I do?
    The first thing to do is to discuss your concerns with your dentist. They can advise you on all the alternatives for treatment and once you have this knowledge you can make an informed decision about what is best for your teeth. The really good news is that several excellent tooth coloured options are available for the vast majority of situations.



Tooth coloured fillings
    I have heard that tooth coloured fillings can wear easily and need to be replaced quite often, is this true?
    This is not true. Modern tooth coloured fillings are resistant to wear and very stable over the long term. Like any filling the key factors are that it was placed correctly and that a tooth coloured filling was the right option for that individual case.