Fillings are the most common form of restorative dentistry. They can be used to fill in a cavity or to plug up treated teeth.
- If necessary, a local anaesthetic is used to numb the area.
- The decayed part of the tooth is removed and the cavity cleaned.
- The amalgam is placed inside the tooth and shaped to fit.
Decayed or damaged teeth can be successfully repaired with amalgam fillings – a safe, cost-effective method that restores a tooth’s shape and functionality in a very durable way.
Amalgam fillings have been used for over 150 years and are made of a combination of metals including silver, tin, copper and mercury. The inclusion of mercury has caused some controversy but numerous scientific studies have dismissed any link between its use and any adverse health effects. Amalgam fillings are also inexpensive, durable and quicker to place than other types of fillings.
As well as providing an effective repair for tooth decay or damage, white (or composite) fillings offer a natural-looking alternative to more obvious amalgam ones, as they are made from a tooth-coloured resin which blends in with your teeth.
Although often considered to be a less durable method for filling teeth, composite fillings do have more aesthetic appeal and are now made from modern materials which offer improved durability. Their life expectancy will depend on the depth of the cavity to be filled and its position in the mouth.