Fillings / Restorations
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. Our office uses composite fillings. 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 lets 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 Composite (Tooth-Colored) Restorations.
Advantages of Composite (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.
Since the resin used in tooth-colored restorations contain fluoride this can help prevent decay. The resin wears like natural teeth and does not require placement at the gum line, which is healthier for your gums!
What Steps Are Involved in Filling a Tooth?
To treat a cavity we will remove the decayed portion of the tooth and then “fill” the area on the tooth where the decayed material once lived. Fillings are also used to repair cracked or broken teeth and teeth that have been worn down from misuse (such as from nail-biting or tooth grinding ).
First, we will numb the area around the tooth to be worked on with a local anesthetic. Next, a drill, air abrasion instrument will be used to remove the decayed area. Next, we will probe or test the area during the decay removal process to determine if all the decay has been removed. Once the decay has been removed, we will prepare the space for the filling by cleaning the cavity of bacteria and debris. If the decay is near the root, we may first put in a liner made of glass ionomer, composite resin, or other material to protect the nerve. Generally, after the filling is in, we will finish and polish the tooth.