Amalgam fillings have been used to fill cavities since the early 1800s. These silver fillings, which contain a small amount of mercury, have been the standard for fillings in back teeth. Silver fillings have the strength and durability to withstand the tremendous pressure molars and premolars endure with every bite. Although composite fillings have been around since the 1960s, only within recent years have dental materials and techniques advanced enough in cosmetic dentistry that they can be used in the place of silver amalgam fillings.
Even though silver fillings have long been the standard for filling cavities in posterior teeth, they have been problematic for some individuals. People who are allergic to the metal components of the amalgam have issues with these fillings. Although amalgam fillings are thought to be safe, the mercury used, even though it is a small amount, has raised questions about the true safety of this filling material.
Composite resins, now with more strength and durability than ever, do not use metals. They are now being used to replace silver fillings. The result is a smile that looks totally natural. When you laugh or sing, anytime your mouth is fully wide open, you do not have to be concerned about anyone noticing how much dental work you have had done on your back teeth. With composite resin, your teeth look completely natural from front to back.
What is a Composite Resin?
Composite resin makes up a class of dental filling materials that include a variety of compounds. Ceramic or glass is combined with plastic to create the resin material. Each type of resin has its advantages. Resin used in large fillings and those on posterior teeth require a special curing light to help it harden. The resin is put down in layers, with the light being used to harden each layer before the next is applied. This ensures that the filling is strong.
Unlike amalgam fillings, composite resins are bonded to the natural tooth structure. Silver fillings require a small amount of good tooth material to be removed so the filling can be tamped down into place. The metal does not bond with the tooth, and over time, leaks can develop or the filling could become loose if the enamel is eroded.
Composite material is bonded to the tooth, so only the decayed part of the tooth needs to be removed. Less prepping of the tooth is needed, and the final result looks like your natural tooth. Once the composite has been placed and hardened, it is trimmed and smoothed. The final step is polishing, which makes the surface of the resin look just like that of the tooth. The seamless bond between tooth and composite makes it basically impossible to tell that you have had a cavity filled.
You can now have a fully natural looking smile with composite resin fillings. Contact Shadle Smiles and schedule an appointment to have your silver fillings replaced with natural tooth-colored composites.