There's been a lot of discussion in the media surrounding metal restorations. Are they dangerous to our health? Do patients have reactions to the mercury? Though the debate is still underway, thousands of patients have had, and are still having silver fillings placed. For over 100 years it has been the trusted, most inexpensive material used by dentists around the world. And though our dentists believe amalgam fillings are still a safe and reliable restoration, there are some things to consider before choosing this option. Silver fillings rely on the tooth itself to hold them in place and do not bond to, or add any additional strength to the surrounding tooth structure, thus causing prolonged sensitivity. When preparing to place an amalgam filling, more of the natural tooth structure needs to be drilled away. Therefore, over time, cracking of the tooth structure around silver fillings is quite common. The good news, however, is that there's an equally economic method of restoring teeth.
Tooth colored fillings, also called composite or resin fillings, is a more advanced choice in restoring small cavities. Because our dentists are able to choose from an array of natural looking, enamel like shades, resin fillings are much more esthetic. The material is more durable than amalgam and allows for a bond to the natural tooth, resulting in less sensitivity after the procedure. When preparing to place resin fillings, there is significantly less drilling away of the surrounding healthy tooth structure. Because of their durability, resin fillings greatly reduce the risk of having the restoration leak due to the cracking or chipping that occurs when the fillings become worn over time.
So why worry about the effects of mercury when there's a safe and more attractive alternative? Call our office today to schedule an appointment and see if resin fillings are the best choice for your restorative needs!