Fillings are the most common and conservative treatment for cavities. To place a filling, your dentist will thoroughly remove bacteria and decay, and fill the resulting void with tooth-colored composite resin. Although dental fillings can be made of silver amalgam, our dentists prefer tooth-colored fillings. This material expands and contracts at a rate more similar to your tooth, and will not compromise the appearance of your smile.
Dental composites are also called white fillings. 3/4 Crowns and inlays can also be made in the laboratory from dental composites. These materials are similar to those used in direct fillings and are tooth-colored.
Many people still have silver/mercury fillings in their mouths from years past. These fillings are not particularly pleasing to the eye, and we know that by unavoidable design, silver/mercury fillings ultimately result in a weaker tooth structure. Porcelain inlays and tooth-colored restorations (onlays) create fillings that are not only beautiful (or unnoticeable), but also add strength to weakened teeth. These restorations are aesthetically pleasing and 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 creates an environment where cavities get started once again. With age, the metal of a silver filling expands, contracts, and can split.
Silver fillings contain 50 percent mercury. They can corrode, leak, and 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. Resin onlays 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 tooth-colored restorations contains fluoride, this can help prevent decay. The resin wears like natural teeth and does not require placement at the gum line, which is healthier for your gums!
The result is a beautiful smile!