A dental restoration and dental filling is a dental restorative material used artificially to restore the function, integrity and shape of missing tooth structure. The structural loss typically results from cavities or external trauma.
Dental composites are also called white fillings. Crowns and in-lays can also be made in the laboratory from dental composites. These materials are similar to those used in direct fillings and are tooth colored. 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 camouflaged and also add strength to weakened teeth. These restorations are aesthetically pleasing and very strong thanks to new 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 creates an environment where cavities get started once again. 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.
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Advantages of Tooth-Colored Restorations
There are many advantages to tooth-colored restorations mainly that the color matches the rest of your teeth but also these types of restorations strengthen your teeth. 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 (onlays). This process requires two appointments.
Your First Appointment at Santa Rosa Dentistry:
• The old filling is removed and 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 like your natural tooth.
Your Second Appointment at Santa Rosa Dentistry:
• 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.