A dental filling is a restorative material that’s used to artificially restore the natural shape, contour and function of a missing tooth structure, which can result from tooth decay or external elements. A dental filling can be fabricated out of a variety of different materials.
Dental composites are also known as white fillings and they’re made from a material that’s the same color as your teeth. However, their strength and durability are not quite as high as either porcelain or metal restorations. They are also more prone to wear and discoloration over time.
Silver-mercury fillings were common in the past but are not so aesthetically pleasing. They contain 50% mercury, which can corrode, leak and also stain your teeth and gums. Their design can also result in a weaker tooth structure, which makes them less than ideal. The edges of silver fillings can wear down and break, which creates an environment where cavities can get started all over again. Over time, the metal in silver fillings also expands, contracts and may even split.
Porcelain inlays and tooth-colored restorations (known as onlays) using new bonding technologies create fillings that are unnoticeable but also add strength to weakened teeth. Old silver fillings can be safely and effectively replaced with tooth-colored restorations.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF TOOTH-COLORED RESTORATIONS?
There are numerous advantages to tooth-colored restorations, aside from their aesthetic beauty:
• Resin onlays are bonded to the teeth to create a tight fit, which is particularly beneficial in instances where the tooth structure has been lost. As a result, the tooth remains intact and stronger than it was before.
• The resin used in tooth-colored restorations contains fluoride, which can also help prevent decay.
• The resin wears like natural teeth, so it doesn’t need to be placed at the gum line, which makes it a healthier option for your gums!
Replacing Silver Fillings With A Tooth-Colored Restoration
If you have old silver fillings, they can be replaced with tooth-colored restorations (fillings, inlays or onlays) in a single appointment! The old filling and any decay will be removed and the remaining tooth structure will be used to determine the appropriate restorative and size. If there is adequate healthy tooth structure remaining, then a tooth-colored filling (made from composite resin) will be used. If there’s inadequate tooth structure remaining, then a porcelain inlay or only will be used.
During the bonding process, a conditioning gel will be placed on your tooth to prepare it for the new onlay. Bonding cement is applied to the tooth and a high-intensity light is used to bond the resin to the tooth. Your tooth will then be polished and you’re ready to go, with teeth that are stronger and more protected than before.
FULL MOUTH RECONSTRUCTION
A full mouth restoration involves restoring your teeth, bite and muscles to an improved yet natural-looking condition. It can be used in situations where you have broken teeth or damaged fillings, sore jaw muscles or recurring headaches due to tooth pain. By opening your bite through a full mouth reconstruction, you can achieve the same aesthetic results as a face-lift does.