Fillings

At Hereford Dental & Implant Clinic we are proud to be know as a  Mercury Free Clinic. Our white fillings can be placed in teeth in any part of the mouth giving you a tooth coloured, white filling that is indistinguishable from the rest of the tooth. The white fillings are used to replace lost tooth structure damaged by decay just like silver amalgam ones. White fillings can also be used simply to replace old silver fillings for patients who are concerned about the potential risks of mercury or the unsightly appearance.

Whether it is a front or back tooth the advantages of our white fillings include:

  • Tooth coloured
  • Adhesive
  • Mercury Free
  • Conservative
  • Natural looking

At Hereford Dental & Implant Clinic we use the latest in composite, white filling materials. These new materials available have properties comparable to silver amalgam and if placed correctly by an experienced dentist can last for many years.

When your tooth shows signs of decay, your Hereford Dental & Implant Clinic dentist can help to stop it before any further damage is caused. Fillings are applied to small and developing cavities to restore your tooth back to its normal shape and prevent any further decay.

Spot decay before it gets serious

When you visit for a check up, your dentist will use a small inspection mirror to assess the surface of your teeth, looking for signs of decay or little cracks and fissures. They will let you know as soon as they see anything that might require treatment, and a small filling is a lasting preventative solution that far outweighs a root canal treatment, which can be the result of extensive decay. By closing up the gap, your dentist is preventing bacteria from getting in and preserving your tooth in the least invasive way.

The process is straightforward and often only requires one or two appointments at your local Hereford practice. Once your dentist has assessed the area that requires treatment, they will clear out any decay before filling the clean cavity with a material of your choice.

What kind of fillings are available?

There are a number of different materials that can be used to fill a hole in your tooth. Indirect fillings are those that require a couple of visits to Hereford Dental & Implant Clinic as the tooth is treated with a tailormade filling that has to be crafted to your needs in a dental laboratory before fitting. Direct fillings are those that can be applied in one sitting, or chairside. White or tooth coloured options prove to be the most popular of these options as they remain the quickest and most natural-looking of the options – no one can tell that you’ve had a filling.

Indirect:  

  • Gold fillings. Gold is known for its low reactivity, meaning it is a safe substance to leave in your mouth for years. Gold fillings are also long-lasting and could stay in place well for over 20 years. However, gold fillings are also ‘indirect’, so they require manufacture in a dental laboratory and then applying to your teeth, making this one of the longer processes.
  • Porcelain fillings. Porcelain fillings are referred to as onlays or inlays, and are custom-made and then fitted to your teeth. They boast a similar durability to that of gold fillings, but look more more natural.

Direct:

  • Composite resin fillings. Composite resin is a kind of plastic that will match your natural tooth colour, making a filling less visible. The resin mixture can be poured straight into the cavity, making it a relatively quick treatment, if a little less durable than gold or silver.

Should you require a filling, your dentist will discuss with you the different options available and best advise on the most suitable for you and your teeth.

When was your last check up? Contact Hereford Dental & Implant Clinic in Hereford today to book your next one.

Amalgam fillings removal

Thanks to the development of new, stronger tooth coloured materials, silver amalgam fillings are often not the best choice for long term dental health, functionality and appearance.

At Hereford Dental & Implant Clinic we can safely remove existing amalgam fillings and replace them with new ceramic or composite materials. At our clinic in Hereford our patients welfare is of most importance and therefore we do not advocate the use of dental amalgam as a filling material. We offer alternatives such as tooth coloured composite filling materials or much stronger and longer lasting alternative,ceramic fillings.

Amalgam replacement treatment

Many people wish for their old metal fillings to be replaced with new white fillings for a more natural look. The days of using unsightly mercury, silver or related substances for teeth fillings have long gone, and at our Hereford practice we use tooth-coloured or composite fillings as an alternative to amalgam (mercury) varieties.

Advantages

There are some major advantages to composite (mercury-free) fillings. They are less destructive on the teeth and they are more adhesive, meaning they are much less likely to break loose. The dentists will shape the filling to follow a natural tooth’s contours, restoring it to its natural beauty. They are much more aesthetically pleasing and can be worked and polished in a way that makes them look just like a natural tooth. There are no significant health risks with composite fillings.

Putting your mind at rest

There is some concern over mercury fillings and in certain Scandinavian and European countries they are banned. The evidence against mercury amalgam fillings thus far is inconclusive but the general thinking is that the Mercury causes the most harm. Most dentists in the UK use both types and give patients the option however Hereford Dental & Implant Clinic is a big advocate of white fillings over silver.

At our clinic, we have the safest methods available to remove amalgam fillings, including a rubber dam to prevent over-spill and isolate the tooth being worked on. High volume suction ensures that materials and vapors are sucked away too.

What are the disadvantages of Dental Amalgam?

  • Amalgam fillings can expand with age and crack teeth
  • They can lose there protective seal and start to decay
  • Cause grey staining within teeth
  • Contain Mercury
  • Non-adhesive unlike white fillings

Amalgam replacement treatment

Many people wish for their old metal fillings to be replaced with new white fillings for a more natural look. The days of using unsightly mercury, silver or related substances for teeth fillings have long gone, and at our Hereford practice we use tooth-coloured or composite fillings as an alternative to amalgam (mercury) varieties.

Frequently asked questions about amalgam replacement treatment

What is amalgam?
Amalgam is a combination of metals that has been used in dentistry for more than 100 years. It is still commonly used today. Although it sometimes is called “silver amalgam,” amalgam actually consists of a combination of metals. These include silver, mercury, tin and copper, and small amounts of zinc, indium or palladium.

With the development of tooth-coloured materials to restore teeth, amalgam is used less often than in the past. However, the newer materials can’t be used for all situations. Amalgam is less costly than other materials. It also holds up better over time, especially in teeth that undergo a lot of pressure and wear from chewing.

Is amalgam safe?
Millions of people have amalgam fillings. Concern has been raised over the mercury in amalgam, and the issue has been studied extensively. Yet researchers have not found evidence of significant health problems related to the use of amalgam in fillings.

Is the mercury, which is absorbed into the body harmful?
For the overwhelming majority of people no harmful effects are known to be caused by the average levels of mercury exposure from amalgam fillings. For those subject to high exposures, for example, in industrial settings, the severity of any scientifically validated harmful effects depends upon the duration and amount of exposure.

Why does the dental profession continue to use amalgam when questions are being raised about its safety?
Every time a foreign substance is used in the human body for therapeutic purposes, there is an element of risk. Health professionals must constantly weigh the known risks of a particular intervention against known benefits. In the case of dental amalgam, the scientific evidence indicates that no significant risks are involved. If there were risks, they would have been clearly observed during the 150 years that this material has been in use. Dental team members, in particular, would have shown clinically demonstrable effects due to their considerable exposure to the substance.

The risks associated with the use of dental amalgam appear to be limited, and the benefits to patients are known to be large. Dental amalgam is much stronger and more durable than alternative restorative materials, and amalgam restorations can be completed at a more reasonable cost. Recent advances, such as the development of amalgam bonding techniques, have made amalgam even more advantageous as a restorative material.

Should pregnant women be concerned about amalgam fillings?
Research has not shown any health effects from amalgam fillings in pregnant women. However, mercury can cross the placenta. In general, dentists advise pregnant women to avoid unnecessary dental treatment. Women should not get amalgam fillings during pregnancy. Dentists can suggest other materials for any pregnant woman who needs a cavity filled.

Are there alternatives to amalgam?
There are outstanding alternatives to mercury fillings. For small cavities, tooth coloured composite resin fillings are excellent. For larger problems, there are options such as reinforced porcelain or resin inlays, onlays and crowns that are custom fabricated in a dental laboratory. These materials are beautiful and can be bonded to a tooth so the final result is as strong as the natural tooth.

Treatments

Root canal treatment

If you have been experiencing severe tooth pain, it is possible that you may require root canal treatment. Your Hereford Dental & Implant Clinic dentist can treat your tooth without the need to remove it, leaving you pain-free and in good oral health.

Treatments

Inlays and onlays

If you have damage to a tooth that cannot be fixed with a filling, our Hereford Dental & Implant Clinic dentists can fit an inlay or onlay to cover the damage and restore your tooth to its natural looking state.

Next steps

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