Depending upon the aesthetic and structural demands of a tooth needing restoration, Dr. Moon will disguss the advantages and disadvantages of the many choices of tooth filling materials.
Silver fillings (amalgam fillings) have some drawbacks, mainly color. Yet they have some advantages too.
If the filling is relatively small some silver fillings have lasted 20-30 years. In teens with high decay rates, silver is more resistant to further decay. Silver fillings are more economical and take less time to place.
Silver fillings contain 50 percent mercury. Although no acredited dental school has found this to be “free mercury” and harmful to your health, if this is a concern, we have alternatives.
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.
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!
Replacing Silver Fillings with a Tooth Colored Restoration
You can have your silver fillings replaced with tooth-colored restorations (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!
Direct Tooth Colored
Teeth can also be restored with a tooth colored filling material in one appointment. The tooth is prepared acid etched and a strong bonding adhesive applied. On top of this the tooth colored filling is added then shaped in the mouth. Upon completion the filling is ready to use.
Although strong, these do not last as long as the laboratory made tooth colored fillings and may need to be replaced sometime in the future. Direct tooth colored restorations are more technique sensitive and take longer to place. However, they are aesthetic, add a cohesive strength to the tooth and a great improvement over the color of silver.