A dental restoration or dental filling is a dental restorative material used artificially to restore the function, integrity and morphology of missing tooth structure. The structural loss typically results from caries or external trauma. Dental restorations may be fabricated out of a variety of materials:
White Composite Restorations
Dental composites are also called white fillings. They come in many different shades to match the existing tooth color and there are many different types of composite restorative materials that are used for different applications. Their strength and durability is not as high as porcelain or metal restorations and they are more prone to wear and discoloration.
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 aesthetically pleasing and very strong thanks to new bonding technologies.
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 or crack teeth.
Silver fillings contain 50 percent 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. Smaller cavities can be restored with composite resin. Larger cavities are better restored with porcelain onlays or inlays which 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 porcelain 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. This process requires only one appointment for removal of the old defective restoration and placement of a new composite restoration.