Dental Fillings

New advances in bonding, resins and ceramics have made tooth-colored fillings that are strong and lasting a reality. Dental amalgam (silver) is an economical option that is safe for most people except those few who have true allergic reaction to it. In some cases, amalgam can contribute to tooth fracture, however. With all of the questions about amalgam, many people wonder if they should have their silver fillings replaced. Removal of these fillings may cause structural damage to your teeth, depending on the filling's size, and may cause unnecessary expense. So unless you are allergic to amalgam, leave your teeth alone.

 

Composite Fillings

The clear alternative to traditional mercury fillings.

The Problem:

  • Decay on a portion of any tooth
  • Desire to replace old-fashioned mercury (silver) fillings
  • Desire to maintain a white, beautiful smile

The Solution:

A composite filling is a tooth colored quartz-like material. After tooth decay is removed and cleaned, this tooth colored material is layered into the tooth. Each layer is hardened or cured with highly intense visible light, and the final surface is shaped and polished to match the tooth. The final restoration is virtually invisible.

Advantages:

Composite fillings are more than just attractive. They are environmentally non-toxic because they use no mercury. They are stronger because they bond directly to the surface of the tooth. They protect the tooth from fracturing because they don't require the severe "undercut" (removal of healthy tooth structure) of a mercury filling.

Disadvantages:

The initial investment in a composite filling is higher than that for a mercury filling. This is due to the fact that the composite material is more expensive and the restoration is more difficult and time consuming to place. However, this initial higher investment is offset in the long run by the health benefits and reduced likelihood of restoring potentially fractured teeth.

Alternatives:

CEREC Inlays/onlays are sometimes good alternatives to composite fillings, offering excellent long term durability. In cases of extensive decay, inlays/onlays or crowns are the only alternative.


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