Dental decay can prevent bacteria and decay from spreading to your teeth and gums. Dental fillings are a great tool to keep your teeth healthy and restore the appearance of decay.
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 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, or mercury 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 dental decay start 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, your dentist can safely replace silver fillings with Tooth-Colored Restorations. At Boulder Dental Designs, our dentists, Dr. Montoya and Dr. Lai, can remove silver fillings and replace them with tooth-colored fillings.
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. Your dentist can use such repairs when much of the tooth structure has been lost. The tooth remains intact and more robust.
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!
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:
- We remove the old filling along with any additional decay. As mentioned above, silver fillings wear down on the edges and allow dental decay to redevelop on the tooth. Often if patients have a silver filling, they will still have dental decay surrounding the filling.
- We take an impression of your teeth. A model of your teeth is made and sent to the lab. At the lab, a resin is carefully placed into the model of your teeth. Then they design it to look natural.
- A temporary onlay is placed on the tooth to create a more natural appearance until your impression comes back from the lab.
Your Second Fillings Appointment:
- We remove the temporary onlay.
- A conditioning gel is placed on your tooth to prepare it for the new onlay.
- We set the bonding cement 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, they are more robust, and the tooth is protected!
HOW TO CARE FOR A TOOTH-COLORED FILLING
Patients should care for a tooth-colored filling as they care for their natural teeth. At Boulder Dental Designs, we recommend that patients practice a regular oral health routine to help prevent the development of dental decay. Patients should brush, floss, and use mouthwash twice a day. Our dentists recommend soft-bristled toothbrushes along with low-abrasive, fluoridated toothpaste. Patients should also invest in fluorinated mouthwash. Fluoride helps chemically strengthen your tooth’s outer layer, the enamel.
At Boulder Dental Designs, we restore teeth with dental decay with tooth-colored fillings. We also remove traditional silver fillings and associated decay to help improve the health of your smile. For more information about tooth-colored fillings in Boulder, Colorado, or to schedule an appointment, please call our office today.