What is composite fillings ?
White fillings – also called composite fillings – have become the fillings of choice for both dentists and patients. Previously, when silver amalgam fillings were placed, due to a lack of any physical adhesion between amalgam and tooth tissue, the shape of cavities needed to be prepared such that the filling was mechanically retained by whatever remained of the tooth. This often meant that the cavity preparation was more invasive and damaging to the teeth and the fillings tended to be larger than necessary. The current UK regulations as of July 2018 state that dental silver amalgam should not be used for dental treatment of deciduous teeth, of children under 15 years of age and of pregnant or breastfeeding women, except in exceptional circumstances specific to the patient.
Since the introduction of composite fillings and improved immediate dentine bonding systems, tooth coloured fillings are bonded in place, so less preparation of the teeth is needed and more of the natural tooth is retained. Not to mention that the aesthetic aspect of composite fillings is far more pleasing as these fillings blend in with natural tooth and become invisible to an eye. Compared to amalgam though, the placement of composite fillings require more time and are technically more demanding.