White Fillings (also called composite fillings)

Silver mercury fillings in back teeth3   The same teeth after the silver mercury fillings are replaced with tooth colored composites (white fillings)

Traditionally, cavities in back teeth were repaired with silver fillings, and white fillings were only used on front teeth. This was because the white filling material in the past was not as strong as silver amalgam, and so could not withstand the heavier chewing forces generated by the molar teeth. In the past 5-10 years, there have been a significant advances in dental materials, so that now white fillings are as good, if not better than silver amalgam fillings.

They offer several distinct advantages:

  • Far superior cosmetics – they look and feel just like natural teeth.
  • It is possible to bond white fillings to the tooth, so they require less of the healthy part of a tooth to be removed to hold the filling in place.
  • There is no mercury in white fillings, which means they are kinder to the environment
  • They do not expand in the cavity and so place less internal stress in the tooth than silver amalgam.

For large fillings, if more than 70% of the tooth has been compromised, Cerec restorations are preferred to white fillings