White filling is a material used to fill cavities and repair minor cracks and fractures. They give a natural appearance to the teeth as they can be made to match the color and translucency of the enamel. The materials used for fillings are usually composites or ceramic. Other filling materials used are an amalgam, silver, gold, etc. They are not widely used due to a few drawbacks that they have.
What are the drawbacks of metal fillings?
Metal fillings such as amalgam, when used as a filling material, leave a shabby appearance on the teeth. They leave dark patches, which ruin the aesthetics of the teeth.
Amalgam fillings can be toxic. They may react with the enamel as well as the pulp of the teeth, leading to toxic infections.
Metals expand and contract frequently over time. When they’re used as a filling material, they could cause the tooth to crack, which may end up in tooth loss.
Sometimes, if the filling cracks, it would be difficult to replace or restore it.
When can composite fillings be used?
Composite fillings are most widely used to fill cavities, which are caused due to decay.
When a tooth has cracked or fractured, a filling can be used to hold it intact.
When adjacent teeth are too far apart, the gap between them can be eliminated using filling.
They can be used to restore the shape and size of worn out or chipped teeth.
Before the filling is applied to the cavity, the decay has to be removed from it. The infected nerves (pulp) and the decay-causing bacteria are removed from it. The cavity will then be thoroughly cleaned by scrubbing. After the cavity has been disinfected, the filling will be applied to it. Sometimes, the dentist may choose to place medication in the cavity before applying the filling, which would prevent further infection. The filling will then be shaped appropriately according to the shape of the tooth and then polished. With the use of composite filling, the dentist can make sure to match its color with that of your natural tooth. This makes the filling virtually impossible to spot.
You may experience a slight elevation in the sensitivity of your tooth after the filling has been applied. Care must be taken while consuming foods which are too cold or too hot. However, it would subside after a few days.
Why should you get composite fillings?
They are long-lasting. They are said to last several years with proper care.
They are virtually undetectable as they can be made to match the color and shade of the enamel.
They are highly durable and do not wear easily.
They have a great sealing ability. They cover the cavity entirely and prevent the entry of microbes into it.
They do not stain easily.
Proper oral hygiene prevents the staining of the filling. Brushing and flossing at least twice a day restrict the growth of microbes in the mouth, which would prevent cavities. They also help extend the life of the filling.