We can appreciate that there are many things about a trip to the dentist that people dread. One of those things being fillings, specifically shiny, metal filled fillings. Not only is this an uncomfortable, albeit necessary, procedure, but it also leaves teeth looking different. People can spot a metal filling from a mile away! Okay, so that may be an exaggeration, but for those with metal fillings (or amalgams) in their teeth, it certainly feels that way.
If inserting a metallic mixture into peoples’ teeth seems slightly archaic, that’s because it is. There are records dating dental amalgam back to the T’ang Dynasty in China (618-907 A.D.) and Germany around 1528. However, amalgam didn’t make its way to the United States until about 1833 via two Frenchmen, the Crawcour brothers.
Early amalgam contained a mixture of silver from coins and mercury. This sparked a lot of controversy within the United States. The first, and only at the time, U.S. dental association, American Society of Dental Surgeons, urged dentists to abstain from using mercury fillings.
This association disbanded sometime later and was replaced by the American Dental Association which does not feel there are any health hazards associated with dental amalgam that contains a small amount of mercury. Silver fillings today still contain some mercury, which continues to cause some controversy. However, the only countries to ever ban the use of mercury in fillings are Denmark and Sweden back in 2008. While it is a totally acceptable practice, there is another option to the age-old use of metal fillings.
Here at Premier Dentistry of Philadelphia, our top notch dentists perform Tooth-Colored Restorations. This process is done to restore our patients’ teeth with tooth-colored fillings, as well as inlays, onlays, crowns and veneers. The complex composite material and zirconia/silica combination used for this process takes on a natural, white tooth tone, so you don’t have to worry about flashing those metallic fillings when speaking, eating or smiling.
Tooth-colored restorations bond to your teeth, helping to prevent any filling leaks or potential cracking and/or breaking of the tooth. What’s most impressive is that it functions like your natural teeth. They are 95% as strong as a healthy tooth, compared to silver fillings which are a dismal 40-45% as strong.
Composite-inlays and onlays are used when a decayed tooth needs more help than just a filling, but less than a crown. Not to worry though, with our color restoration practices, it will also look natural! We use inlays when the decay is within the indented top part of your tooth (also known as the cusp). An onlay is used when it involves one or more cusps. This technique strengthens the structure of a tooth by up to 75%. Also, they can last up to thirty years which is a significant portion of time.
No matter the severity of your cavity, there’s no longer a real need for metal in your mouth. Our Tooth-Colored Restoration process can help support and strengthen your decayed teeth, on top of helping them get back that natural look.
For more information on Tooth-Colored Restoration, or to schedule an appointment, call us at (215) 564-1025!