White fillings, or tooth coloured fillings, are far more cosmetically acceptable than amalgam fillings. At Russell Street Dental Clinic white fillings are the default filling for private patients.
The default standard for NHS patients is white fillings on front teeth only and metal/amalgam fillings on the rest of the teeth.
If you are an NHS patient and you would like a cosmetic white filling on a back tooth there is an extra cost, in addition to any NHS charges for your course of Treatment.
Costs are from £60.00 to £80.00 per tooth depending on the size of the filling.
Please read this impartial advice from the British Dental Health Foundation (Jan 2016) regarding white fillings and other options (www.dentalhealth.org)
Why should I consider white fillings?
Most people have fillings of one sort or another in their mouths. Nowadays fillings can be natural looking. Many people are more conscious about the way they look, so they don’t want silver fillings that show when they laugh or smile.
Are white fillings expensive?
Costs can vary quite a lot from dentist to dentist. They usually depend on the size and type of white filling used and the time it takes to complete the treatment. Costs may also vary from region to region, but your dental team will be able to give you an idea of the cost before you agree to treatment.
Are white fillings as good as silver amalgam fillings?
White fillings have always been considered less long-lasting than silver amalgam fillings. But there are now new materials available that are comparable to silver amalgam, and these are proving to be very successful. The life expectancy of a white filling can depend greatly on where it is in your mouth and how heavily your teeth come together when you bite. Your dental team can advise you on how long your fillings should last.
Is it worth replacing my amalgam fillings with white ones?
It is usually best to change fillings only when your dental team decide that an old filling needs replacing. If so, you can ask to have it replaced in a tooth-coloured material.
Some dentists prefer not to put white fillings in back teeth, as they are not always successful. One way around this would be to use crowns or inlays, but this can mean removing more of the tooth and can be more expensive.
What are tooth-coloured fillings made of?
This can vary, but they are mainly made of glass particles, synthetic resin and a setting ingredient. Your dental team should be able to give you more information about the particular material they use.
Are there any alternatives to fillings?
‘Adhesive dentistry’ involves bonding the filling to the tooth. The dental team have to remove less of the tooth, which is obviously better.
As we have already said, there are alternatives such as crowns and inlays, although they can cost a lot more. Veneers can be used on front teeth instead of crowns or fillings.