Tooth Fillings – Composite Resins
Replacing silver fillings with tooth-colored composite materials may be done for both health and aesthetic reasons. To ensure optimal care for our patients, we are a mercury-free practice. You may find that you have silver/mercury fillings in your mouth, leftover from dental work done in the past. In addition to the less-desirable appearance of silver/mercury fillings, they also present structural problems, resulting in weaker teeth. By contrast, ceramic inlays and (onlays) are unnoticeable and actually add strength to weakened teeth. In cases of very weak teeth crowns may be required. These restorations look great and are very strong thanks to new bonding technologies.
Disadvantages of Silver Fillings:
Silver fillings have many drawbacks. The edges of the silver filling can wear down, become weak or break. This results in the tooth not being protected and lets cavities get started once again. With age, the metal of a silver filling expands, contracts, and can split. With contraction of the metal comes leakage and what we call secondary decay. In addition the mercury in the silver fillings can cause stains on your teeth and gums.
Fortunately, silver fillings can safely be replaced with tooth-colored restorations.
Advantages of Tooth-Colored Restorations:
There are many advantages to tooth-colored restorations. Ceramics and crowns are bonded to the teeth creating a tight, superior fit to the natural tooth. Such restorations can be used in instances where much of the tooth structure has been lost. The tooth remains intact and stronger.
Since the resin used in some tooth-colored restorations contains fluoride, it can help prevent decay.
The result is a beautiful smile!
Replacing Silver Fillings with a Tooth Colored Restoration
You can have your silver fillings replaced with tooth-colored restorations. Replacement options include resin fillings, ceramic inlay / onlays and tooth colored crowns. Resin fillings require one appointment. In the case of inlay / onlays and crowns this process usually requires two appointments.
Your First Appointment:
- The old filling is removed along with any additional decay.
- An impression is made of your teeth. A model of your teeth is made and sent to our in house lab.
- A temporary is placed on the tooth.
In the Lab: Your restoration is fabricated by our in-house dental technicians. It is designed to look natural.
Your Second Appointment:
- The temporary is removed.
- A conditioning gel is placed on your tooth to prepare it for the new restoration.
- Bonding cement is placed on the tooth and a high intensity light bonds the cement to the tooth.
- The tooth is then adjusted and polished.
Your teeth are restored to a natural look and feel, they are stronger and the tooth is protected!