Black fillings, which are the most common type of filling available with the NHS, is quite literally a lump of metal containing a lot of liquid mercury which is pushed down into the cavity.
At the point of insertion and any subsequent drilling of the filling, the mercury content can be quite dangerous for both the dentist and the patient because of the mercury fumes. But please, be assured that the filling when it is inert, is completely safe.
But for a smiley person, these fillings can also be extremely unattractive. Why do we say a smiley person? A big wide smile is more likely to expose the back teeth which, if filled on the NHS, will have been done with mercury ensuring a nice big black smile.
However, technically, black fillings are also not so good for the longevity of teeth. When using a black filling the dentist has to create an undercut to hold the filling. Every time you chew on the filling, pressure is put on the undercut portion and eventually the filling weakens, the tooth weakens and further treatment is required.
White filling materials does not require as much drilling as it is fixed with a special glue. Less tooth is damaged and the need for future treatments is reduced. And a big white smile is back on the cards too!
Initially this treatment requires a higher investment than black fillings but future care costs can be quite low. This treatment is not available on the NHS.
We would always advise choosing a practitioner who is extremely experienced in white filling techniques.