TOOTH COLORED, METAL FREE RESTORATIONS In the past, traditional silver amalgam fillings with a large mercury content were placed routinely. They still constitute the majority of restorative dentistry performed in dentistry today. Since 1988, our office, with an increasing number of progressive dental practices, no longer places this type of restoration for a number of reasons.
Toxicity-There is a significant controversy today about the mercury in the amalgam filling material. Mercury is a toxic poison and although still accepted by organized dentistry, we cannot see a good reason for placing a mercury containing restoration when today's alternative materials out perform silver fillings without the potential risks of mercury.
Tooth Damage-Non-precious metal fillings corrode (rust) in the wet environment of the mouth. Over time, this inevitable corrosion causes serious expansion of the filling material, resulting in stress and fracture of the previously strong and healthy surrounding tooth structure. In simplest terms, silver fillings eventually "crack" the teeth they are placed in.
Cost-The inevitable corrosion of silver fillings and the eventual fractures we see necessitate extensive treatment to restore the affected teeth. Although initially cheaper to place, a silver-mercury filling may be the most costly way to restore a tooth in the long run.
Esthetics-Silver fillings initially look unnatural, and after their expected corrosion they are downright ugly. Today's bonded alternative materials blend into the teeth and give patients the natural esthetics they expect and deserve.
Before - with amalgams
Prep - removal of amalgam
After - replaced with resin
Tooth colored restorations or Directly Placed Resins are white filling material bonded directly into the tooth. They are used in areas where the strength of the remaining tooth is not in question and are placed in one office visit. Beside the esthetic and functional advantage of resin material there is a medical benefit for the use of non-metallic restoratives. With the increasing use of magnetic resonance imaging
(MRI) technology, metallic restorations are recognized as distorting factors that may hinder the diagnosis of head and neck MRI scans.
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