Even though we are taking better care of our teeth than ever before, only the lucky few of us will avoid the need for a filling at some point in our lives.

A filling may be required for various reasons including decay, damage or wear to the surface of the tooth.

For aesthetic reasons, many people now opt for composite resin (tooth coloured) fillings over metal coloured amalgam.

Composite filings (made from a mixture of plastic and glass called silicone dioxide) have been used for over forty years. Originally the materials used were considered inferior to metals, however modern composite fillings now prove just as hard-wearing and durable as amalgam.

Today they are used in all teeth.

Composite fillings in summary:

  • White fillings are more expensive and are not available on the NHS – like amalgam fillings are. If you want them you will need to pay for them.
  • Despite this, many patients choose to have composite fillings because of the aesthetic advantages.
  • If you are worried about the effects of dental amalgam on your health then you can avoid it – composite fillings do not contain any amalgam.
  • Modern composite materials are proving more durable with many now just as strong as amalgam.
  • The location of the filling in your mouth and depth of the cavity may well affect the life expectancy of your composite filling.
  • Composite fillings are slightly trickier to place and therefore the work can take a little longer than with amalgam (approx 15-20 mins).