Tooth-Coloured Fillings in Dunedin

At Bell Hill Dental, our team of dentists use a tooth-coloured material to fill cavities. Tooth-coloured fillings provide a solution to dental caries (decay) without leaving a dark mark on your smile. 

What Causes Tooth Decay?

We often think of sugar as the only enemy of healthy teeth. However, sticky, starchy or acidic foods also play a role in the formation of tooth cavities. For many years, amalgam silver fillings were the primary solution to combatting cavities.

The acid caused by bacteria softens enamel and can deteriorate the tooth's protective structure. We have cavity-combatting treatments like fluoride and fissure sealants to protect tooth enamel, especially in the posterior (back) tooth grooves, which are particularly susceptible to dental caries.

What Is the Difference between Amalgam and Composite (White) Fillings?

For patients, the main difference between silver and white fillings is how they look. From a dentist's point of view, composite fillings are both versatile and aesthetic. Additionally, in many cases, tooth-coloured fillings require removing less healthy tooth structure for a more conservative approach to dentistry.

In addition to filling cavities, composite, tooth-coloured fillings offer a solution to reshape the teeth with minimal preparation. This can provide an affordable, cosmetic solution to chipped and misshapen teeth.

How Do Tooth-Coloured Fillings Work? Dentist in Dunedin speaking with patient in dental chair

At Bell Hill Dental, Dr Elaine Neill and our other dentists always prioritise your comfort. It's important to us to nurture your physical and emotional comfort while you are with us. We never begin any procedure before ensuring you are entirely comfortable. In most cases, local anaesthetic is all that's required. Some smaller fillings may not even require numbing.

  1. Once your tooth is numb, your Dunedin dentist will gently remove all signs of decay and sterilise the surface to prevent additional decay.
  2. Next, your gentle dentist will use a bonding agent to prepare the tooth's surface for your white filling. The prepared area is something to which the composite can bond.
  3. After matching the exact colour, your dentist will apply layers of composite material until the cavity is completely filled and your tooth is sealed.
  4. Finally, the dentist will polish the tooth's surface to a gleaming shine, ensuring it blends in naturally.

How Long Will My Filling Last?

The answer to this question varies wildly from person to person. Here are some tips, however, to help you get the most out of your dentistry and natural teeth:

  • Brush and floss teeth twice daily
  • Attend regular dental check-ups and cleans
  • Wear a nightguard if you grind your teeth
  • Avoid sugary and acidic foods that cause cavities

Four toothbrushes on table at Bell Hill Dental in DunedinIn most cases, you can count on a dental filling to last 5-10 years, and some last many, many more! Eventually, most dentistry will need replacement, but with the proper care, your healthy smile is one of the best investments you can make in your appearance and health.

We Welcome You to Bell Hill Dental 

We always warmly welcome new patients to our Dunedin dental practice. If you are looking for a dental clinic that serves Dunedin, its CBD, Invercargill and all areas between, we are honoured to invite you to become part of our dental family.

Call 03-477-8387 to book an appointment at Bell Hill Dental.