We are a mercury-free practice. 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. Tooth-colored composite fillings, 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. The edges of the silver filling can wear down, become weak or break. This results in the tooth not being protected and allows cavities to 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. 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.
Replacing Silver Fillings With A Tooth-Colored Restoration
You can have your silver fillings replaced with tooth-colored restorations such as composite tooth colored fillings or an inlay or onlay depending on the size of the restoration. This process requires 1 to 2 appointments
Tooth-Colored Composite Fillings
- After administering a local anesthetic to numb the treatment area, we will isolate the tooth and remove the decay.
- Once all decay is eliminated, a composite resin filling is placed inside the tooth.
- The shade of composite resin selected will closely match your tooth, making the filling virtually invisible.
- Once complete, we will check to make sure the filling aligns properly with your bite, and will adjust the filling if necessary.
Onlay and Inlay Restorations
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!