Fillings are placed to repair cavities in teeth caused by decay or fracture. On the NHS most fillings placed in posterior teeth (molars and premolars) will use dental amalgam, and these are a Band 2 Treatment. Dental amalgam is a silver coloured mixture of metals including mercury, silver, tin and copper. Those materials mixed together from a very hard, durable alloy, ideal for the restoration of posterior teeth. Concerns are frequently expressed about the possible toxicity dental amalgam. However this material has been used for approximately 150 years and to date there is still no evidence of any systemic toxicity resulting from its use. Amalgam is considered to be safe and the ideal filling material for restoring the biting surfaces of the posterior teeth which are subjected to the greatest chewing forces.
These are white adhesive fillings and are made of acrylic resin they are placed and set once the tooth cavity has been repaired and then set and trimmed to shape.
Composite fillings are generally used to repair broken or decayed anterior teeth, once the cavity has been prepared so that it is a fillable shape and decay free the tooth is dried and etched gel is used to prepare the tooth surface so that the filling will bond to the tooth and again washed, then primer and bond are applied before the liquid filling material is introduced to restore the tooth. The material is cured by bright light and large fillings are built up in layers to guarantee a thorough cure once finished the set filling is trimmed to shape. Composite fillings are a plastic material and can break if too large.