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Filling Materials.

There are a number of different filling materials available these include:



Amalgam fillings are silver in colour they are made by combining mercury and silver alloy (50% mercury, 35% silver, 15% tin, copper and other metals).

Amalgam is a long lasting and hard wearing material, and it’s not unusual for an amalgam filling to last for up to 15 to 20 years.

Before the filling can be placed, the area must be prepared by removing all of the decay, and the cavity needs shaping to hold the filling in place.

If the tooth is badly broken then a small stainless steel pin is place into the tooth, to help to secure the filling.

Some patients have concerns over the use of amalgam filling due to the mercury that is used. Mercury in dental amalgam is not poisonous once it has been combined with the other materials in the amalgam filling. Its chemical nature changes so that it is harmless.


Composite Fillings:

Composite filings are strong but not as hard wearing as amalgam filings. Composite filling material can be chosen to match your own tooth colour. Composite is made from powdered glass quartz, silica or other ceramic particles added to a resin base.

The tooth is prepared, the filling material is bonded into the area, and a light is shone onto its surface to set it. If you decide to have a composite filling it is advised to inform the dental staff when making an appointment, as more time will be needed then if you are having a composite filling.


Glass Ionomer Filling:

This type of filling is quite weak and because of this it is mostly used on baby teeth and (non biting surface). Little preparation is required as the filling bonds directly to the tooth. Glass ionomer form a chemical link with the tooth, and also releases fluoride, which helps to prevent further decay.


Inlays and Onlays:

These can be used on most area of the mouth. An inlay is small and within the biting surface of the tooth. An on lay covers a larger area of the tooth.

Gold is the most long lasting and hard wearing milling material as it will last for many years.

Porcelain inlays are also available, porcelain can be hard wearing and long lasting and also has the benefit of being able to match your own tooth colour.


Preparation for Inlay and Onlays:

The dentist will normally prepare the areas as if for a filling, then an impression will be taken, of the prepared area. This impression will then be sent to a laboratory with all necessary information where it will then be produced. This will normally take 14 days. In the meantime the area will be filled with a temporary filling material.

Once the Inlay or onlay has been created, and is back form the lab, the temporary filling material is then removed, and the inlay or onlay is then fixed into place with dental cement.


If you have any further queries regarding which filling material would be suitable please ask a member of the dental team who will be able to answer them for you.


Why suffer dental disease when you can enjoy dental health for life?
Regent Street Dental Practice, 42 Regent Street, Rugby  CV21 2PY - Tel: 01788 542692
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