Traditional fillings used in years gone by have been dark silver amalgam fillings. But times have changed. At iDental, we have never used amalgam fillings. Tooth coloured composite resin fillings done in our dental studio are strong, long-lasting and undetectable.
What does amalgam removal involve?
Removal of amalgam is a simple process. We will assess your teeth and plan treatment is sections. This means that a few teeth can usually be treated at once.
On the removal appointment, we will remove the amalgam, keeping the high speed suction over the tooth so that it is instantly removed from your mouth as it comes out. This will also whisk away any odour or vapour.
The tooth will then be filled using a layering technique.
Finally the composite is polished to a high lustre.
Can I claim removal of my fillings on health insurance?
Yes. This is routine dentistry. We will provide you with a written quote so that you can check before we begin how much the process will be. We also offer payment plans through a loan platform that makes it easy to stay on top of your dental health.
What is a filling?
The fillings that we use at iDental are made from composite resin materials or porcelain, depending on the problem. The best filling will repair damage and and improve the appearance of both the tooth and your smile.
How long to white fillings last?
Small fillings last the longest as they are protected by the surrounding tooth, and also don't get a lot of wear and tear. This is usually many years. For large fillings, the white filling will slowly wear down over time. Although the composite filling will last many years, it is usually better to use a porcelain bonded filling for these larger and wider fillings.
How much do white composite fillings cost?
The cost of a white tooth coloured filling will vary depending upon the size and how many layers it needs. We are meticulous in the replacement of old fillings and try to restore the appearance of the tooth back to as close as the original unfilled tooth as possible. We will give you a quote before starting. Most fillings are $200+
Should you replace your old fillings?
One - Health of your tooth.
Unlike composite resin fillings which are chemically bonded to your teeth, an amalgam filling is packed into an area of your tooth, much like a filling in a pothole. Over time, these fillings will start to wear away, exposing spaces where bacteria can sneak in and start causing tooth decay. If a filling wears out, allowing for decay to get into your tooth then it is time to replace that filling before bacteria can enter into deeper tooth structures (and cause potentially costly treatment or tooth loss). The life of an amalgam filling is about 10 years.
Two - Metal fillings expand
It should be no surprise that Amalgam fillings are made of metal. Metal is a conductor and reacts differently to temperature compared to tooth structure and also resin fillings. When eating and drinking, our mouth temperature changes from hot to cold quickly, and unfortuntely metal fillings shrink and expand too quickly compared to the rest of the tooth. These on-going expansions and contractions place stress on your tooth with every thermal cycle. Young heathy teeth are resilient and can stretch with the filling. About the mid-thirties, this natural resiliency starts to diminish and stresses that the tooth previously tolerated eventually cause stress cracks and fractures.
Three - Silver stains your tooth
Just like any metal, the metal components in amalgam can corrode or rust. In old amalgam filled teeth, rust leads to the natural tooth structure absorbing small metal particles into the inner porous dentine and the enamel layer causing dark discolouration of the teeth that can often be noticed. Once the structure of the tooth is stained grey, it cannot be removed and will permanently make the tooth appear grey or "dirty". This is not pleasant, and it is better to replace a silver filling before this happens.
Four - Your smile
Amalgam Fillings Are Not Aesthetically Pleasing – When you smile or laugh, amalgam fillings are noticeable. For many people, replacing their amalgam fillings with white, tooth-coloured composite resin fillings instead enables them to regain their self-confidence in their smile. Tooth-coloured fillings are practically invisible, and often even we cannot see them right after we place them. And that is the way we like it. Dentistry should look like it doesn't exist. Your teeth and smile should look bright and white, and completely natural and untouched.
We are amalgam free
It can be a little daunting to learn that you have a tooth that is in need of urgent repair. Rest assured, because at iDental, repairing teeth and restoring your teeth back to a beautiful cosmetic result is what we do best.
Whether your tooth has experienced decay or has been worn down or eroded, we use the the latest modern and safe materials to re-build and re-strengthen your teeth. We are an amalgam-free practice and use newer restorative materials that colour match and blend seamlessly with your existing tooth structure – you wouldn’t even know you had a filling!
If you are considering teeth whitening after your dental filling to restore your smile, be sure to speak to one of our cosmetic dentists about your treatment options. We can select the best colour for your fillings to match the brighter and whiter smile that we will create for you.
Our dentists will always encourage you to do any cosmetic work that improves the colour or shade of your teeth, before placing any fillings, so that fillings match your brighter smile. Dentistry lasts a long time when done well, so we want you to enjoy it.
How long does it take to replace my fillings?
At iDental, our cosmetic dentists will first assess your mouth and teeth and determine what fillings (if any) need replacing. The best dental visits are when we plan treatment to get a few teeth done at once. After all, it makes sense that whilst you are numb in an area, we should aim to replace whatever needs replacing in the same visit to avoid having to work on the same area all over again.
For this reason, we will usually replace a quarter of the fillings in one appointment. We have found that our patients love this approach, as they see an instant change in the brightness of their smile after just a visit of two!
Can I eat after a dental filling?
You can eat after a tooth filling after a suitable waiting time has elapsed once local aesthetics has worn off. In most cases, we use a short acting local anaesthetic, so you can return to normal activities as soon as possible.
Composite resin fillings are ready to use immediately as we set them with blue light. It is important to be careful whilst numb to protect your lip and tongue. Sometimes a tooth can be sensitive after it is worked on, but in most cases this is temporary and will resolve by itself in a few days.
Our dentists will help guide you in the best way to care for your teeth after treatment.
How is my treatment planned?
We want you to be involved in the dental process. After looking at all the information we have, we will put together a treatment plan for you. This is a step-by-step plan to get your dental health back to it's best.
We have a wide range of treatments available, so we will work with you to come up with the best solution.
This might be replacing amalgam fillings, whitening or placing crowns on your teeth. Together we will work on the solution to dental health.
We also offer dental payment plans through a plan provider which is interest free.
Options for replacing your amalgam fillings
The decision to replace your dental amalgams should not be taken lightly, as there are a number of considerations that you need to keep in mind. The biggest consideration is replacement material, and there are two main options:
1. Resin Fillings
Resin fillings are also known as composite. As soon as the amalgam is removed, your dentist will layer the resin into your tooth, setting it with a blue curing light. This bonding strengthens the tooth and offers a little protection from fracture. Resin does well at small to medium fillings, but can show some wear if the filling is very wide and under intense pressure, just like amalgam. Other options are better suited to larger fillings.
2. Porcelain Fillings
Porcelain is a very hard wearing structure, with the ability to replace fillings of any size. Most porcelain fillings or crowns are made after digital scans in a dental laboratory, and then later bonded to the tooth. Porcelain is very strong and is used when large sections of tooth need to be replaced. Porcelain can also be used to make a crown (which cover the entire remaining tooth structure).
Cost of amalgam removal
Pricing for the removal and replacement of amalgam fillings is typically charged on a case-by-case basis as it is dependent on a number of factors. These include the number of fillings to replace, the size of the fillings and whether damage has been caused to the tooth. Another important price consideration is whether you are opting for composite resin or porcelain fillings. Typically resin fillings are considered general dental treatment by health funds, whereas porcelain fillings are considered major dentistry by insurance.