A variety of materials are available depending on the cost of the filling and the durability. But due to increased demand for aesthetically appealing fillings, tooth-coloured fillings are preferred over other materials such as:
- Silver Fillings
- Gold Fillings
These tooth-coloured fillings are also known as cosmetic fillings or white fillings since they resemble the colour of a tooth. They are also used for aesthetic correction of the teeth, apart from restoring a cavitated/discoloured tooth. The composite fillings are resins that are available in different shades.
Why choose tooth-coloured fillings?
Apart from their resemblance to a tooth, they have an added advantage of conserving the existing structure of a tooth. Minimal preparation is needed for the composite fillings as they bind chemically and mechanically to the tooth, unlike silver fillings which require extensive preparation for their retention. Thus, white fillings are conservative and are limited only to the area of involvement. These fillings do not undergo dissolution like other cement and last longer.
Working procedure of tooth-coloured fillings:
- The procedure is fairly quick and simple. It may last 15-20 minutes depending on the structure of the tooth.
- Tooth-coloured fillings are soft and can be moulded to the desired shape.
- This is followed by the use of blue light(LED) that makes the filling material hard and strong. One can even start chewing immediately.
- As such there are no restrictions after filling but it is advisable to avoid highly colored food substances such as strong tea, coffee, coloured sauces, etc. as the filling might absorb the colour in the first 24 – 48 hours.
- Slight sensitivity post the operation is normal and will alleviate in a few days. If it persists, then one must report back to the dentist.
- A properly placed filling will last for several years. However, they may wear out and break down due to dietary habits. Maintaining proper oral hygiene, dietary instructions and visiting a dentist once in six months will help in increasing the durability of the restorations.