At Australia Dental Burpegary, all aspects of routine tooth conservation are offered. Almost always composite restorations (white) are placed.

Composites (White Fillings)

Composites are composed of microscopic quartz filler particles in a resin matrix. They were first developed around 30 years ago but the early materials had numerous problems. Rapid improvements have been achieved in the last 10 years and the result is a strength and durability similar to amalgam.

Advantages of Composite:

– Same colour as the tooth.
– Less cutting of the tooth is required so your remaining tooth is stronger.
– Strong adhesion irrespective of the shape of the cavity once the decay has been removed.
– Strong bonding to the enamel, the composite is bonded so strongly that the enamel would be more likely to break away from the underlying dentine than the filling.
– Reduces the chance of the tooth breaking. When the filling sets it contracts pulling the walls of the tooth together.
– Can eat on it immediately. Composites are at full strength as soon as the curing light is removed.

Disadvantages of Composite:

– Technique-sensitive, badly placed composites will fail sooner.
– Placement is a longer procedure.
– Generally more expensive than amalgam.

Ceramic Fillings

Examples of commonly used ceramics are Emax, and Empress.

These are tooth-coloured, high technology glass ceramics that have many advantages over composites. Their preparation involves impressions and a specialist dental technician so the cost is similar to that of gold restorations.

Their advantage is that they are the longest lasting and strongest of all tooth coloured options currently available.

Gold Fillings

Gold has been used as a filling material in teeth since around 3000BC and it is still one of the best materials available. It requires a more complicated technique, involving the use of impressions and the services of a dental technician. This means that it is a lot more expensive than amalgam or composite; up to four times the cost.

Gold is still used today but most people prefer tooth-coloured alternatives including ceramic fillings.

Glass Ionomers

These are a special type of white filling used in certain situations. They form a strong chemical bond to the tooth and are often used at the root level.

They do not look as good as composites and are not as hard wearing so this means that they have a limited application.

How Long do Fillings Last?

Using the latest materials and an excellent technique, in most situations white fillings will last as long as silver fillings.

There are some situations where the cavity margin may lie well beneath the gum level; in these cases an alternative restorative material may be advisable.

Why Replace my Filling when it is still in place and it doesn’t hurt?

Constant pressure from chewing, grinding or clenching can cause dental fillings, or restorations, to wear away, chip or crack. Although you may not be able to tell that your filling is wearing down or feel any discomfort, we can identify weaknesses in your restorations during a regular check-up.

If the seal between the tooth enamel and the restoration breaks down, food particles and decay-causing bacteria can work their way under the restoration. You then run the risk of developing additional decay in that tooth. Decay that is left untreated can progress to infect the dental pulp causing an abscess and the need for root canal treatment or extraction.