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.
Porcelain inlays and Tooth-Colored Restorations (onlays) create fillings that are not only beautiful (or unnoticeable), but that 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 silver fillings can wear down, become weak, or break. This results in the tooth not being protected and lets new cavities start developing. With age, the metal of a silver filling expands, contracts, and can split.
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. 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 strong.
The resin used in tooth-colored restorations contains fluoride, helping to prevent decay. Because the resin wears like natural teeth, it does not require placement at the gum line … which is healthier for your gums!
The result is a beautiful smile!
Replacing Silver Fillings with Tooth-Colored Restorations
You can have silver fillings replaced with tooth-colored restorations (onlays). This process requires two appointments.
- 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.
- 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, are stronger, and the tooth is protected!