Category: White Fillings

Exploring The Different Types Of Tooth Discolourations And How They Can Be Treated

Patients throughout Southampton know that in Smilemakers they have a dentist in Southampton that they can rely on to help them achieve and maintain healthy beautiful smiles. One of our most commonly requested cosmetic treatments is teeth whitening which offers an effective method of bleaching stains and treating tooth discolouration.

tooth discolourationsNot all stains are created equal, however, so we thought we’d use this blog to discuss the different types of dental stains, their causes, and how they can be treated.

Extrinsic tooth discolouration – This is the type of stain that most people are familiar with and which appears on the surface layer of a tooth. It’s typically caused by food, drinks, and other substances which come into contact with the teeth. These include:

  • Drinks such as coffee, tea, soft drinks, and red wine
  • Foods such as curries, tomatoes, berries, and carrots
  • Cigarette and cigar smoke
  • Chewing tobacco

The best treatment for most extrinsic stains is teeth whitening which uses a bleaching agent to lighten the discoloured parts of the teeth. If the stain is particularly dark or proving difficult to remove then a better option may be porcelain veneers or tooth bonding. Sometimes for major stains a combination of both may be the answer, but this will be discussed with you during a consultation.

Intrinsic tooth discolouration – This type of discolouration refers to stains which originate from within the tooth itself. This means rather than a substance coming into contact with the tooth enamel, internal tissues are causing the problem. Some of the causes of intrinsic tooth discolouration include:

  • Congenital tooth discolouration
  • Tooth injury
  • Tooth infection
  • Over exposure to fluoride
  • Use of tetracycline as a child

The treatments for this type of discolouration tend to involve procedures which conceal or hide the stain from view such as dental crowns, dental bonding, and porcelain veneers. The best option for you will be discussed during your consultation.

Age-related dental stains

As people age their teeth become discoloured due to gradual wear and tear as well as variety of intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Ideal treatments for age-related stains often consist of a variety of extrinsic and intrinsic treatment, and again the best options suited to you will be discussed with your Southampton dentist during a consultation.

To find out more about tooth discolouration and how it can be effectively treated why not get in touch with Smilemakers. If you’re unhappy with the appearance of discoloured teeth, then make an appointment with Dr. Thomas Darling by calling 02380 442626 or booking online at

Top Reasons To Swap Out Metal Fillings For White Ones

Old metal fillings are unsightly and can make you feel self conscious when you smile. As a Southampton dentist one of our most popular cosmetic dental treatments is white fillings. White or tooth coloured fillings are a safe cosmetic method of replacing your metal fillings to create an attractive flawless smile which can also repair dental damage. Read on to learn why you might want to consider white fillings.

Disadvantages of metal fillings

white fillingsMetal fillings were once the most common method of treating cavities but they’re certainly not the best method. For one thing silver metal fillings stand out from white teeth making them cosmetically unappealing and they also have several other drawbacks.

  • Discolouration – Over time silver amalgam can discolour the filled tooth giving it a grey appearance.
  • Cause dental damage – Silver metal fillings expand and contract when they come into contact with different temperatures in the mouth. For example when you’re sipping a cup of hot coffee or eating a spoonful of ice cream. Over time the constant expansion and contraction can lead to cracks forming within the teeth which can lead to fillings falling out and broken teeth.
  • Insecurity – Ugly metal fillings can lead to some patients feeling insecure about smiling because their metal fillings can be clearly seen.

So why replace metal fillings with white fillings?

White fillings are made from porcelain or composite resin coloured to the shade of your teeth and both make a great alternative to metal fillings. There are many advantages to opting for tooth coloured fillings, including:

  • No discolouration – Metal fillings can turn teeth grey over time but this doesn’t happen with white fillings.
  • Safer– Unlike metal fillings, white fillings do not expand or contract when they’re exposed to fluctuating temperatures, so they’re safer for your teeth.
  • Improves the smile – Tooth coloured fillings enhance the appearance of a person’s smile because they’re made to match the surrounding teeth. In addition the materials used for white fillings have a lustre that mimics natural teeth, so your fillings are virtually unnoticeable.
  • Custom made – Your dentist in Southampton will custom craft each white tooth filling so that it blends seamlessly with your natural teeth.
  • Stronger – Tooth coloured fillings are bonded directly to the damaged tooth which helps to reinforce the tooth structure that has been weakened by decay.
  • Renewed confidence – Since tooth coloured fillings are blended perfectly with the surrounding teeth a person will regain their confidence knowing that no-one can see their fillings.
  • Durable – Finally, tooth coloured fillings are very durable and can last for up to fifteen years.

Now that we’ve convinced you to swap out your old metal fillings don’t delay any longer. To find out if white fillings are suitable for you, schedule a consultation by making an appointment with Dr. Thomas Darling on 02380 442626 or contact us on line at

Exploring The Benefits Of White Fillings

Your smile is without doubt a valuable asset. It says a lot about who you are and helps you to connect with other people. Once when a cavity occurred the only option would have been an unsightly metal filling. Nowadays white or tooth coloured composite fillings are an attractive cosmetic alternative and are strong enough to withstand the normal wear and tear of everyday life while keeping your natural smile looking flawless. In fact, composite fillings are so popular that as a cosmetic dentist in Southampton we regularly replace the fillings of patients who are unhappy with their unsightly silver amalgam fillings with composite ones.

southampton dentistThe process

White fillings are made from a mixture of plastic and glass particles. The decayed portion of the tooth is removed and the soft composite resin is placed in layers to ensure that it completely fills the cavity. Each layer is hardened using a special light which bonds the composite resin to your tooth. Once hardened, your highly skilled Southampton dentist is able to shape the composite so that it resembles your other teeth and to ensure an even bite. It’s then polished to prevent premature wear and staining.

The advantages

There are many advantages to composite fillings including:

  • Aesthetics – Unlike silver coloured fillings, composite fillings look just like your natural teeth since the colour can be carefully blended for a seamless finish. This makes them an ideal choice for front teeth which would look very unattractive with a silver filling.
  • Stability – A composite filling also requires very little of the tooth structure to be removed for placement which means more of your natural tooth is preserved. Since the filling bonds with the actual tooth it offers additional stability for a tooth that has already been weakened by decay.
  • Insulation – White fillings are not affected by any changes in temperature which occur in your mouth, unlike amalgam fillings which tend to contract and expand, and this protects your tooth from fracture.
  • Versatility – Composite resin is very versatile and besides fillings can also be used to repair teeth that are chipped, broken, or badly worn.
  • Free from metal – Finally, white fillings do not contain any metal. Some studies have suggested that mercury used in amalgam fillings can pose a threat to your health, although this is not conclusive.

If you live in or around Southampton and would like to have white fillings placed or wish to replace your old metal fillings with more natural tooth coloured ones, then why not get in touch with Smilemakers, you local cosmetic dentist in Southampton.Call today on 02380 442626 to book an appointment with Dr Thomas Darling or contact us via our website at