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White Fillings vs Amalgam vs Porcelain Inlays

Updated: Dec 18, 2018

Most people have fillings of one kind or another in their mouths.

Fillings are needed when there is decay in the tooth creating a cavity (hole) in the tooth. If this isn’t treated then bacteria can work its way into the tooth leading to infection and disease. If left untreated this becomes more and more painful and may lead to tooth loss if completely left untreated.

It is therefore advisable to do everything you can to avoid dental decay.

There are a number of options open to you when it comes to fillings and restorations:

Amalgam Fillings: These are the classic silver grey fillings and the most common. These fillings may not be as aesthetically pleasing and attractive as white fillings however most of the time, more of the natural tooth is able to be preserved by using amalgam. Preserving natural tooth is always of key importance to the dentist and this is why many practices continue to use amalgam fillings.

White Fillings: Sometimes known as Composite fillings. They tend to look more aesthetically pleasing and blend in with the natural teeth around them as they are made of a tooth coloured material. They could have a tendency to wear at a higher rate than the surrounding teeth, so whilst they are strong they are sometimes thought to not be as strong as amalgam. The good news however, is that white composite fillings are extremely easy to add onto if this happens.

Many white fillings are classed as ‘cosmetic’ treatment so tend to only be available in private dental practices.

Many people these days are considering changing their amalgam fillings to white ones, but it is usually best to wait until your dentist tells you they need replacing. Some dentists prefer not to put white fillings in the back teeth as they are not always as successful. One way round this would be to use inlays.

Porcelain Inlays: They perform the same function as a filling. The porcelain inlays that are used in dental practices are made of an extremely high-strength feldspar quartz mixture which, when bonded onto the tooth, is extremely strong. They blend in so well with the natural tooth that wouldn’t be able to see it once its placed!

Porcelain inlays need to be made by a highly skilled dental technician. This means that once the decay from the tooth has been removed, your dentist will take a dental impression. This is then sent to the dental technician who can then make a porcelain inlay to fit into the cavity.

It normally takes a couple of weeks for the porcelain inlay to be made, and once fitted it should last for many years.

For more information on these treatments or any other, please visit our website,

For further information or advice contact College Street Dental Centre in Petersfield, Hampshire on 01730 263180


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