Tooth Colour Fillings

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. Compsite fillings (tooth colour fillings), porcelain inlays and onlays and porcelain crowns (caps)create restorations 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 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. Some research indicates that they may be harmful to your health.

Fortunately, silver fillings can safely be replaced with tooth colour restorations. It is our policy to replace these filling when they have reached their “service life.” This means we will recommend replacement when a gap is present between the metal and the tooth structure, if the old filling is chipped or if decay is present when assessed on an x-ray.

Advantages of Tooth Colour Restorations

There are many advantages to tooth-coloured restorations. Composite resin fillings 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 colour restorations contain fluoride this can help prevent decay. The resin wears like natural teeth. In most cases a composite filling is smaller than if the same filling was done withamalgam. This is healthier for your tooth since it is more conservative and less likely to crack in the future.

The result is a beautiful smile with more conservative techniques!

Replacing Silver Fillings with a Tooth Colored Restoration

You can have your silver fillings replaced with tooth colour restorations. We usually only recommend changing old fillings when they become worn, indicated by a detectible gap or if they have decay present.

The process of placing a new composite resin filling is as follows;

1. a topical freezing agent is placed next to where an injection will be given,
2. after numbing the area with the topical,freezing will be given with a needle (often completely free of discomfort).
3. decay is removed along with old filling material in the most conservative way,
4. a band or plastic strip is place over the tooth to isolate the area and to make a form for the new filling,
5. a conditioning agent is placed on the tooth to prepare the surface for bonding,
6. sometimes a densitizing agent is now placed, then in most cases two layers of a bonding resin,
7. a liner is placed,
8.successive layers of composite filling material are placed, (during steps 6-9, a special halogen light is shone on the material to “cure” or cause the material to set to full strength,
9. the completed filling is contoured to gain optimal anatomy and adjusted to fit the opposing teeth. A sealant is often placed over the finished restoration.