Dental Filling Options

Our Wickford dentist looks at the types of fillings available at the Cygnet Dental Practice in Essex.

One of the most common dental procedures is the filling. Very few of us will manage to go through life without at least one of these.

Even those who take excellent care of their teeth may break a small piece off at some point and need to have it restored.

Whilst a filling is generally a simple and routine procedure, the use of amalgam, which has been around for a long time, does leave long term visual effects, and, with other methods now available, is not the only choice available for patients.

The following options are available at our Wickford dental practice:


Amalgam has been used for a long time and is a very strong material. Until relatively  recently, it was the only material that was suitable for the rear teeth. Its high visibility factor and possible concerns about the mercury used in it though, has caused some patients to look at other choices now available. We must however stress that official medical and legislative bodies in the UK and elsewhere have provided guidance which states that the use of amalgam in fillings is safe. It may be useful for patients to do their own research in order for them to make an informed decision.

White fillings

White dental fillings, also called tooth coloured fillings, are not new and have been used in dental practices in the UK for some time. Considered to have insufficient strength to be used in the rear teeth, tooth coloured fillings have, until recently, largely been used for the front teeth, often in a cosmetic capacity. Advances in dentistry though, now means that these can now be used in all but the largest cavities in the rear teeth, leaving a nice white smile. This is a great option for those patients who are concerned about the aesthetics of a smile.

Inlays and Onlays

Where a filling is so large that a white filling could not be used; as an alternative to amalgam, we offer inlays and onlays at the Cygnet dental practice. To place these, the tooth is prepared in a similar manner as it would be for a regular filling. An impression is then made of the tooth, which is sent to a dental laboratory for the inlay or onlay to be produced. Whilst other materials, such as gold, can be used, porcelain inlays and onlays are the most widely used as these are not only strong, but can be made to match the shade of your natural teeth.

During the period of time when the inlay or onlay is being produced, you will be fitted with a temporary filling, both to protect the prepared tooth and for your own comfort. Next time you need a filling, why not ask us about the options above? We are always happy to advise you of the pros and cons of the various fillings and which would be the most suitable for you.

Please call the Cygnet Dental Practice of Wickford today on 01268 856322.