15 Earlston Place, Edinburgh EH7 5SU

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Over the course of their life, most people require occasional dental fillings to repair the damage of tooth decay. Traditionally, fillings are made of a compound of metals and are known as amalgam fillings. These are available to patients on the NHS.

Dental amalgam fillings have been used as the treatment of choice for tooth cavities for more than 150 years; indeed, it is estimated that approximately 1 billion amalgam fillings are placed in patients' teeth across the world every year. While we don't fit that many, it is one of the most common procedures we carry out.

You may notice holes or cavities in your teeth yourself, in which case you should contact the practice immediately. The quicker the cavity is treated the easier treatment will be. Don't ignore a hole in your tooth because untreated dental cavities can lead to further tooth decay as food gets trapped in the hole, and can eventually lead to infections that require more complex treatment such as root canal work, and even to tooth loss.

Often, the first you know about cavities is when your dentist discovers them during your regular dental check-up. If we do find you need a filling, we’ll offer you the choice between amalgam fillings (available to all patients on the NHS) and white fillings (only available as a private treatment).

Should you opt for an amalgam filling, your dentist will first ensure all decay is removed from your tooth using the drill, and will shape the cavity ready to be filled. An amalgam putty, comprising powdered metal alloy and liquid mercury, is placed in the drilled cavity and shaped for a comfortable fit. It quickly hardens to a strong and durable filling that, with diligent oral healthcare, will last for many years.

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