Sometimes teeth crack or get damaged. This can be because of tooth decay, grinding or trauma. Usually on the back teeth the reason is tooth decay or fractures caused by biting and chewing. This is where tiny fissures in the teeth allow bacterial into the tooth and this damages its internal structures. Dental filling material can be used to block these fissures and cracks to repair the damage. Sometimes if this decay is left untreated the bacteria creates acids and harmful by-products that can literally eat away at the tooth causing cavities or holes in your teeth.
Dental fillings are a very common procedure and patients can choose from a variety of different materials. In the past fillings were made of precious metals like gold and silver or a substance called amalgam. The problem with using these materials is that they don’t look like natural teeth and can be seen when you laugh, smile or eat and some patients want white fillings that are more subtle and look just like your natural teeth.
Sometimes people need fillings on their front (anterior teeth) and these will typically be made of white filling materials to give you the best aesthetic outcome. Consult with your dentist or dental hygiene therapist to find out the best course of treatment for you bearing in mind the aesthetic outcome, health benefits and any other concerns you might have. Our dentists and hygiene therapists are obsessed with listening to precisely what you want and getting you the result that makes you feel great every day.
Here’s what it’s like to be a patient at Smileworks:
And here are some of our favourite patient reviews in a short 30s video:
The benefits of fillings are that they keep your teeth healthy. They are a reparative measure and also can be an aesthetic one. So they fix it and make it look nice too. Fillings are less invasive than many other procedures and are a better option than what you may face if you leave the tooth decay to spread or don’t visit the dentist when you feel something is wrong. This can:
Here’s a video to show how caries (also called tooth decay and cavities) occurs in the tooth:
As with many dental problems (except gum disease) it’s usually pain that brings people to the surgery. Teeth are made of hard enamel that protects the pulp and living parts of the teeth beneath. These living structures have nerves and blood vessels and when bacteria get past the protective enamel layer it can cause pain such as sensitivity and cause serious problems with the function and prognosis of the tooth.
In some cases the bacteria can cause an infection and an abscess can form. This is a red flag (and usually really hurts) so you need to visit the dentist for an emergency appointment if you are in pain and think you might have an abscess. Sometimes the pain can be very severe but don’t worry, we can get you out of pain and on your way within a short while so you an enjoy the rest of your day.
Composite fillings are used to solve the same problems as their amalgam cousins. If you have decay, cracks or damage then we use composite materials to fill the holes to stop anymore bacteria getting in and prevent the spread of any infections. Composite fillings are not the same as composite veneers or composite bonding that is usually chosen for aesthetic reasons rather than health ones. But just because fillings are about keeping the teeth healthy does not mean they cannot also look aesthetically pleasing and improve your smile by helping you not feel self-conscious laughing, smiling or chewing.
Composite material is a resin (plastic) mixed with glass to make a hard enamel-like material that is very similar to your natural tooth enamel. It is sculpted into the cavity and finished to produce an extremely life-like and translucent look. Just like your natural tooth. Composite fillings can be used on the back teeth and the front teeth and are an extremely popular choice in 2020.
The price of composite fillings depends on how many of the tooth surfaces need filling. Here’s an idea of what we mean by tooth surfaces. Basically the more surfaces the more work and materials and the higher the cost.
How much is a white tooth filling? Here's the itemised prices for 2020
Many people are worried about the cost of white fillings but you’d be surprised how inexpensive they are. Your qualified dental hygiene therapist can create them for you so you can have this treatment at your hygiene appointment at Smileworks. The cost of your filling depends on how many of the tooth surfaces are damaged or decayed. Your teeth have a number of surfaces and we will usually calculate the cost based on how much work it takes to restore the tooth.
Anything more than 4 surfaces may need other types of treatments that you can read about here: dental crowns or porcelain veneers. The price will also depend on who is doing the treatment for you. Dental hygiene therapists will not charge as much as dentists and then specialists or restorative dentists will charge more as they have more experience.
In the case of an emergency there may be extra costs. These are itemised below.
An onlay is like a filling that’s made in the dental lab. So an impression is taken of your teeth and the onlay is created by a ceramist in a laboratory chosen by your dentist. The master ceramist will construct the onlay to be strong, durable and aesthetically beautiful and make it out of EMAX, Zirconia, gold, non-precious metal, alloy or other types of porcelain. Imagine an onlay like a mini-crown. It covers the cusps of the tooth and is different for a composite filling and is indicated when a composite filling cannot be used because the filling is too large to survive in the tooth and covers too many or to much of the tooth surfaces.
Below the image is a video explaining how an inlay works
Prevention is better than cure. And we now have treatments that can prevent the small fissures in the back teeth from accepting bacteria and causing damage. Dental sealants prevent tooth decay by filling in the tiny recesses in the molar surfaces – so the back teeth.
These are susceptible to cracks and holes because they are under immense pressure from your biting down on them when you chew. The human bite force is 140kg for a normal adult or 70kg per side. Also they are harder to clean and food sticks to them. Fissure sealants create a smoother surface that’s easier to clean and also provide a protective layer to prevent harmful bacteria and the build up of tartar and plaque. Your dental health practitioner can advise you of the best treatment and sealants are not expensive at all and can save you costly dental treatments in the future.
We will usually offer this treatment in the course of most hygiene appointments where appropriate and the scientific evidence is very compelling that this is one of the best ways to prevent dental caries and tooth decay.
Smile works is easily the best dentistry I have been to, I originally went to get my teeth whitened with enlighten evolution 3 but I needed a check up first. I needed 2 fillings which I wasn't happy about and was anxious about having it done but Rebecca was amazing at making me feel relaxed and getting 2 fillings became no problem at all. I then started my whitening which consisted of a home kit and then a visit back for final whitening. I am AMAZED by the results,Chloe Sumers
I first went to see Bambi was back to 2015, I had serious gum problem because I really had sweet teeth. Bambi is a very patient and nice Dentist, she taught me how to brush my teeth property and I arranged a few appointments with her to check up, did xray and did a few fillings. I really wish to know her earlier.Yiqun Wang
I found Smileworks after looking online for the best specialist orthodontist, and after several visits now, I do believe that they live up to the hype! Every visit has been a pleasure, with the excellent reception always offering a warm and hearty welcome. Due to the severity of problems with my teeth, my treatment plan is extensive and means that despite being early days, I have met with and been treated by a range of the staff here; I can confirm that they're all fantastic and incredibly thorough - everything is explained in detail and nothing is ever rushed. I should also thank Paula (and her assistant whose name I've forgotten - sorry!) yesterday for cleaning the insides of my teeth so thoroughly when I don't even think it was necessarily part of the appointment (the appointment was for a filling). I look forward to continued excellent care from Smileworks and can't wait to get my braces on! Cheers guys!Michael Kelly
I received Fastbraces from Smileworks which were complete in just over 6 months. I then had whitening (included in cost) and fillings and filing to complete my new smile. I am over the moon with the work undertaken and so glad I had the work done there. Everything from the consultation to the finishing touches was done brilliantly and I'm made up with the end result. The team are very friendly and approachable and have and will continue to recommended Smileworks to anyone who asks about my teeth.Paula Carruthers
Visited smileworks for dental fillings. The staff is very helpful and friendly. Thank you for the wonderful experience!Isha Agarwal
Genuinely can't recommend this place enough, after years of being unhappy with my teeth I finally decided to look for a brace treatment and couldn't be happier I came here. Every single member of staff is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face and put you at ease with their friendliness and MJ and Bambi (as with everyone else here) couldn't be nicer, more skilled or informative. I started out with a few fillings which I'd been dreading and was so relaxed from such a good job I could have fallen asleep in the chair 😄. Hand on heart can't think of anything at all that could be improved on and think finally making the jump is one of the best decisions I've ever made upto now. Initial consultation was so much more in depth and serious value for money than I'd expected with no pressure at all and the level of organisation with appointments and helpful reminders still never fails to suprise me each time. Mimi even called the next day after the filling to make sure everything was still OK. After just a few visits you feel like you've known everyone for ages, I honestly couldn't be more grateful and really excited for the rest of the treatment now. Thanks everybody! 😊Justin Bell
I went to smileworks to enquire about braces and also the general health of my teeth. I met Shirin and her assistant Jill who done my consultation and discovered i have pockets in my gums around some of my teeth. She set up a treatment plan for me with the main aim being the improvement of my gum health. Shirin also advised me on the different types of braces that may be suitable for me once my hygeine treatments have completed. I have had a deep clean and pocket charts done with Paula and i have so far had 3 fillings replaced by Shirin and Jill with no issues whatsoever. They have been both informative and friendly and i enjoy my visits to smileworks. I can see an improvement in my gum health already and i am looking forward to completing my treatment with smileworks.Kerry Ryan
I have been going to Smileworks for almost 2 years now. I initially went for a consultation on Fastbraces (on the recommendation of a friend). I was seen by MJ and she was so friendly, made me feel comfortable instantly and explained everything to me in ways I could understand (as I am not the whitest tooth in the mouth... haha...!).
I had the brace for around 7 months and I absolutely loved it (I actually miss it now). I thought I would hate wearing it, but MJ and Charlene made it so fun picking different coloured bands, like red & green at Christmas (we even tried to get glitter and glow in the dark ones), that it didn't make me feel self conscious or hide, in fact it became a great talking point, everyone was always asking about my brace! I also thought it would be really painful as I was only wearing it for a short amount of time and my teeth moved a lot but it really didn't!
The reason I wanted a brace was because I was getting married and wanted the perfect smile. My teeth were never that terrible, they were just really, really small and a bit wonky and uneven. After the brace was removed, there was a massive difference already! I could not believe I had waited so long to get them done, I wish I would have done it sooner. MJ even made all my teeny, tiny teeth bigger and the same size by using composite - this is something I had never heard of before, but it worked perfectly, and is a great alternative to something more permanent like a veneer!
I love everyone at Smileworks so much, they have become my friends and I look forward to every visit! I even made my sister go there (she had a small gap in between teeth and dentists she had been to were quoting loads of money for a tooth implant) and MJ fixed it with composite and it looks perfect!
I even dragged my mum there! She has always hated her teeth, but never done nothing about it. She used to be a smoker and had all kinds of caps and fillings, but she was always too nervous and self conscious to go and get anything done. I even had to pay the deposit for her appointment so she wouldn't let me down! She had a consultation with Ioannis, MJ and Kerry and they made her feel so, so comfortable. They explained what her options were and sorted out a treatment plan for her. She has now got her temporary bridge in and its made her a new person! She is always smiling and its completely changed her face (and its not even finished yet!!).
They are not just amazing at teeth - I have had some fabulous aesthetic treatments there and they have always made me look exactly how I wanted, as well as making you feel safe and well informed of the procedure options.
I couldn't thank everyone at Smileworks enough, MJ, Kerry, Charlene, Ed and all the reception girls! You have changed my life and you are never getting rid of me hahahaha!Antonia Jones
The process for a filling is very simple for a dentist or a dental hygiene therapist. You don’t actually need to see a dentist for this type of work but some patients like to have front teeth filled by dentists or even extremely qualified restorative practitioners if they are interested in getting a superior aesthetic look. That said, our dental hygiene therapists and dentists make the most beautiful front tooth fillings so most patients are happy to have wither perform their treatment because they will get a consistently good result at Smileworks.
The first thing to do is assess the positon and remove any decay, tartar or remains of any other failed work. The area is then thoroughly cleaned to remove any bacteria and the damaging chemicals that bacteria leave behind on the teeth. Then the filling material is applied in layers to give it a lifelike and translucent appearance. To help the filling stay in place for a long time the tooth is coated with special materials. The tooth is then sculpted by your dentist or dental hygiene therapist and hardened with a special light. It is then finished to look precisely like the tooth that was damaged and match your surrounding teeth so you can smile again with confidence.
Depending on how well you look after your new filling it should last for several years and protect the tooth from additional damage. The materials used are extremely hard and durable and will be able to withstand pressure and chewing just like your natural teeth.
All dental procedures carry risks although hundreds of millions of fillings have been carried out successfully for the last 100 years. The main concerns of fillings are usually down to the skills of your dentist, the correct diagnosis, the materials used and the size of the filling. Here at Smileworks you’ll find some of the most highly qualified dentists, dental hygiene therapists and specialists anywhere in Europe. Some patients come to us when their fillings have fallen out. This is usually because they have failed.
It is a fact that the benefits of fillings far outweigh the risks – and the common problems we encounter are when people have neglected their failing fillings or have not replaced older or broken fillings. The benefits of white fillings are that they look just like your natural teeth and can restore your smile helping you feel happy, confident and healthy.
Here are some frequently asked questions about white fillings
To see what it’s like having treatment at Smileworks watch our short 30s video here: