Dental Fillings Wayne, PA
We are a mercury-free practice. However, many people still have silver/mercury fillings in their mouths from years past. Although these fillings are not particularly pleasing to the eye, if they are sound and functional they should remain in place unless you opt to have them replaced for cosmetic reasons. We do know, however, that the use of these fillings results in weaker tooth structure due to the material requirements of the silver/mercury fillings. Tooth colored ceramic inlays and onlay’s create fillings that are not only beautiful (or unnoticeable), but also add strength to weakened teeth. These restorations are aesthetically pleasing and very strong thanks to new bonding technologies. When silver fillings require replacement, we recommend the use of bonded restorations for all of the above reasons.
Disadvantages of Silver Fillings
Silver fillings have many drawbacks. Silver fillings contain 50 percent mercury. They can corrode, leak, and cause stains on your teeth and gums. With age, the metal of a silver filling expands, contracts, and can split. As a result, the edges of the silver filling can wear down, become weak or break. This results in the tooth not being protected and creates an environment where cavities get started once again.
Fortunately, silver fillings can safely be replaced with tooth-colored restorations.
Advantages of Ceramic Tooth-Colored Restorations
Materials science has made many significant advances over the last decade. The development and use of bonding technologies has provided a means to restore teeth to their original strength and beauty. The technology has advanced so much, that with the advent of bonded ceramic restorations we are now able to create restorations that offer many advantages over the previously used gold and silver restorations.
There are many advantages to ceramic tooth-colored restorations. In our office, ceramic restorations are custom machined from a block of solid ceramic and bonded to the tooth creating a tight, almost imperceptible fit to the natural tooth. Such restorations can be used in instances where much of the tooth structure has been lost. Use of this type of restoration often allows us to avoid placing a crown on the tooth; thereby preserving remaining tooth structure. The strength of the ceramic and bonding materials has improved so much that the tooth is not only restored, but it is made even stronger.
Use of ceramic restorations can transform the aesthetics of your dentition. The removal of discolored, silver restorations and replacement with bonded, tooth-colored ceramic restorations results not only in a more beautiful smile, but a stronger one as well.
Replacing Silver Fillings With a Tooth-Colored Restoration
Thanks to new CAD/CAM technology, you can have a silver filling replaced with a tooth colored, bonded restoration usually in one visit.
- The old filling, along with any additional decay is removed and the tooth is carefully prepared (shaped) to receive the new restoration.
- An impression is made of your tooth using a special camera that is connected to a computer.
- Using the computer, your new restoration is designed while you watch using a sophisticated graphics program.
- Once designed, the digital file is sent to a milling machine that produces your custom restoration from special ceramic blocks.
- Once produced, the restoration is fit, stained and glazed and then bonded into your tooth using a special light activated resin cement.
Your tooth is restored to a natural look and feel; and it is stronger, better supported and better protected than it was when the silver filling was in place.