Many people still have silver/mercury fillings in their mouths. 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 and more natural-looking but also add strength to weakened teeth.
Disadvantages of silver/mercury fillings:
Silver fillings have drawbacks. While remaining functional for many years, overtime they corrode, leak, and stain surrounding enamel and dentin. Typically, failing amalgams wear, teeth become weak, and eventually they break. This process results in compromise of the remaining tooth structure and ultimately necessitates placement of stronger restorations such as bonded inlays, onlays, and full coverage crowns.
Fortunately, silver fillings can be safely replaced with tooth-colored restorations before damage occurs to the remaining tooth.
Advantages of Tooth-Colored Restorations
There are advantages to tooth-colored restorations. Resin onlays are bonded to the teeth creating a tight 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 can become stronger due to the cemented restoration.
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 or below the gum line, which is healthier for your gums and easier to maintain.
Replacing Silver Fillings with a Tooth Colored Restoration
You can have your silver fillings replaced with tooth-colored restorations. This process requires two appointments.
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.
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.
Now your tooth is stronger, natural-looking and beautiful!