A dental restoration or filling, may be made from a variety of materials. It is used to restore the function, integrity and shape of missing tooth structure. The structural loss typically results from decay, wear or external trauma.
Dental Composites (Tooth-colored fillings)
A tooth-colored filling is made from a durable plastic called composite resin. This resin is made up of a composite quartz resin and usually contains a light-sensitive material. There are many advantages to this type of filling: it can strengthen, improve the appearance of, and allow for more conservative preparation of teeth. It can be used in the front of the mouth as well as the back. The resin material used for these fillings comes in various tooth-colored shades, allowing us to match the filling to your existing tooth.
When placing a composite restoration, Dr. Carbone will remove decay, conservatively prepare the tooth and etch the enamel and dentin. A thin resin liquid is then applied to bond and seal the etched surface. The filling is placed in layers which are hardened by a curing light.
Dental amalgam is a commonly used dental filling material which has been used in dentistry for over 150 years. It is a mixture of metal alloy and mercury. Amalgam has the advantages of low cost, durability, and inhibition of bacterial growth. It is relatively easy to use and not as sensitive to moisture during placement as composites, making it useful in areas that are difficult to keep dry. The disadvantages of amalgam as a filling material are the expansion and contraction of the metal, which can promote cracks in the tooth, and the silver color, which does not match the tooth.
There are circumstances when composite restorations (white fillings) are indicated rather than amalgam. When esthetics are a concern, when a more conservative preparation would be beneficial or crack lines exist on the tooth, composite is the recommended restorative material.
The American Dental Association Council on Scientific Affairs has concluded that both amalgam and composite materials are considered safe and effective for tooth restoration.
Replacing Silver Fillings With A Tooth-Colored Restoration
You can safely have your silver fillings replaced with tooth-colored restorations. Depending on the size of the restoration being replaced, a composite restoration, an onlay or a crown can be considered.