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Providing high quality dentistry in a friendly and caring environment for over 25 years

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Fillings - silver or white?

what are amalgam fillings?

why should i consider white fillings?

can i get them on the nhs?

are they expensive?

are they as good as silver amalgam fillings?

is it worth replacing my amalgam fillings with white ones?

What are tooth-coloured fillings made of?


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Chigwell Smile

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Amalgam or silver fillings are the metal coloured fillings.  Amalgam is the traditional material used for fillings and has been widely available for over 150 years.




Most people have fillings of one sort or another in their mouths. Nowadays fillings are not only functional, but can be natural looking as well.  Many people don’t want silver fillings that show when they laugh or smile because they are more conscious about the way they look.




The National Health Service contracts dentists to provide the treatment that is clinically necessary to secure and maintain your oral health. There are some treatments (such as cosmetic fillings) that are not normally available under the NHS and you may choose to have these provided privately.  




Costs usually depend on the size and type of white filling used and the time it takes to complete the treatment.  At Chigwell Smile, the prices are shown here.




White fillings have always been considered to have a shorter lifespan than silver amalgam fillings.  But there are now new materials available with properties 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 dentist can advise you on the life expectancy of your fillings.  However, any fillings provided on the NHS are automatically guaranteed for one year.




It is usually best to change fillings only when your dentist decides 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.




This can vary, but they are mainly made of glass particles, synthetic resin and a setting ingredient.  Your dentist should be able to give you more information about the particular material that they use.






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