Many people still have silver/mercury fillings in their mouths from years past. These fillings are not particularly pleasing to the eye, and by unavoidable design, silver/mercury fillings ultimately result in a weaker tooth structure making teeth more susceptible to cracks and fractures. Porcelain inlays and other tooth-colored restorations create fillings that are not only beautiful (or unnoticeable) but also add strength to weakened teeth. These restorations are esthetically pleasing and very strong thanks to new bonding technologies.
For more information about fillings or to schedule a consultation appointment, call our office at 626-307-7196.
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.
Silver fillings contain 50% 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. Composite fillings require minimal removal of tooth structure and are bonded onto the teeth. There is no specific design requirement for the filling to be placed meaning that the dentist only needs to remove the area with the cavity and not much more tooth beyond that.
Resin onlays are bonded to the teeth creating a tight 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.
In addition, some tooth-colored restorations called Glass Ionomers and Resin Modified Glass Ionomers contain fluoride which can further help prevent decay. These fillings are generally used for cavities situated on teeth that are difficult to isolate or cavities that are close or along the gumline.
The result is a beautiful smile!
Replacing Silver Fillings with a Tooth-Colored Restoration
You can have your silver fillings replaced with resin onlays. This process 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 the lab.
- A temporary onlay is placed on the tooth.
At the Lab: A resin is carefully placed into the model of your teeth. It is then designed to look natural.
Your Second Appointment:
- The temporary onlay is removed.
- A conditioning gel is placed on your tooth to prepare it for the new onlay.
- Bonding cement is placed on the tooth and a high intensity light bonds the resin to the tooth.
- The tooth is then polished.
Your teeth are restored to a natural look and feel, they are stronger and the tooth is protected!