We rarely place silver/mercury amalgam fillings today. However, 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 esthetically pleasing and very strong thanks to new bonding technologies.
Disadvantages of Silver fillings:
Silver fillings have many drawbacks. In many cases they require the removal of more tooth structure than alternative treatments. As the edges of the silver filling wear down, become weak and break, it results in the tooth not being protected and lets cavities get started once again. With age, the metal of a silver filling expands. This, combined with the required design of these fillings, leads to the formation of fractures in the teeth. Fractures contribute to both the breakage of teeth and the need for root canal treatment.
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 (tooth colored) fillings are used for small cavities. Porcelain inlays and crowns 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 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!