Tooth Colored Fillings
The less you see, the more you get
Only a few short years ago, silver amalgam fillings were the order of the day. Most of us still sport one or two of these durable but unsightly restorations.
New tooth-colored filling materials called composite resins have changed all that. These plastic mixtures filled with glass or silica and resin ionomers with fluoride-releasing properties are both tough and efficient. And best of all, we can color the filling to match your own teeth.
Composites bond to your tooth to support and strengthen the remaining tooth structure. This helps to prevent breakage and insulates teeth from excessive temperature changes. Invisible cosmetic touch-ups of cracked or chipped teeth are also made easily. Resin ionomers are particularly suitable for children because they release fluoride, and for older adults because their sealing and fluoride properties reduce root decay.
The chewing surfaces of your back teeth work really hard, and damage can occur. For these restorations, we’ll often use an inlay which fits in the grooves between the cusps of a tooth. We can use tooth-colored porcelain inlays, which are cosmetically attractive and super tough. Your custom-made inlay is cemented permanently to your tooth, rivaling the strength and beauty of its natural properties. We carefully polish it, and check the bite to ensure a perfect fit.
Please see us for a consultation so we can make sure your smile is healthy and at its sparkling best.
It’s no surprise that you might be confused by the debate about mercury use in silver-colored amalgam fillings. For many patients, the greatest disadvantage has been that they do not match tooth color. In response, dentists are increasingly turning to white composite fillings as an effective alternative. According to a marketing survey, sales of white composite resins surpassed amalgam by a 3:1 ratio! White composite resins are more natural looking than amalgam, and never discolor neighboring teeth as amalgam sometimes does. They are also durable and reliable.
Amalgams, commonly known as silver or mercury fillings, are actually an amalgamation of silver, mercury, copper, and tin. They require the removal of healthy tooth in addition to damaged tooth. It is the mercury in the amalgam that has created the controversy. For most of us, our primary exposure to mercury is from fillings and pollution. We know that in large doses, mercury vapor can cause serious damage to our bodies. Many dentists do not want to take any chances with their patients’ health or with the environment … while others debate.
White composite resin fillings answer many of these practical challenges, and offer superior cosmetic esthetics. If you have any questions about composite fillings, the safety of silver amalgams, or if you’re considering replacing old amalgams with white fillings, please give us a call.