We are a mercury-free practice. However, many people still have silver/mercury fillings in their mouths from years past.
Disadvantages of Silver fillings:
Silver fillings have many drawbacks. They contain about 50% mercury combined primarily with silver. They are generally not bonded and don’t seal the tooth properly. With age, the metal of a silver filling expands, contracts, and can split. The edges of the silver filling can wear down, become weak or break. They can expand and contract differently than the natural tooth which results in the tooth cracking and not being protected from bacteria and acid exposure. This can lead to the need for root canals by letting cavities get started once again. They can corrode, leak and cause stains on your teeth and gums. They are also black which is not esthetic for a white tooth.
There are many advantages to tooth-colored restorations. Resin onlays 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-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!
You can have your silver fillings replaced with tooth-colored restorations (onlays). 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.
At the Lab: A resin is carefully placed into the model of your teeth. It is then designed to look natural.
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.