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Sunee Salpetch, DDS
Read This Before Having Your Silver Fillings Replaced
Springfield Complete Dentistry
. http://www.springfieldcompletedentistry.com/

Read This Before Having Your Silver Fillings Replaced

When it comes to deciding whether to have tooth-colored or silver fillings, most patients would choose tooth-colored without thinking twice. After all, who would want dark gray teeth with silver in them? Besides looking unnatural, silver fillings have also been investigated for possible harmful side effects due to the content of mercury.
Silver fillings, also known as amalgams, may be durable, but eventually will need to be replaced. These fillings crack teeth from the inside, weakening tooth structure, and are the leading cause for teeth needing crowns. Perhaps you have experienced biting into a soft food and finding a piece of a tooth missing. This perplexing accident is easily explained by understanding that the expanding amalgam cracked the tooth from the inside and the biting force merely flaked off the broken piece.
Did you know that silver fillings are not attached to your teeth in any way? Unlike composites (tooth colored fillings), which are bonded to your teeth, silver fillings are held in mechanically, putting a great deal of pressure on the tooth from the inside out, causing them to weaken and crack.
The wave of bonding technology has opened up many new possibilities in dentistry, such as restoring cavities with tooth-colored composite resins. Composite resin fillings have several benefits. Because they bond directly to teeth, resin fillings protect your teeth, recreating strong teeth resistant to fracture. When we place composite resins, we apply a mild solution to condition the tooth so the resin will have a strong seal with the tooth. Then, we carefully place the resin into the prepared tooth, layer by layer. A special light is used to harden each layer. Then we shape the final contours of the filling, check the fit and your bite, and confirm that youll be able to floss around the tooth to keep it healthy. Last, we give the filling a final polish.
Not all large silver filling replacements need to be a crown. In most cases, large silver fillings can be replaced more conservatively with porcelain or resin onlays. Crowns require extensive removal of tooth. Onlays only require removal of decayed, cracked, or damaged tooth structure, leaving much more of your natural tooth. Once bonded, these restorations expand and contract like natural tooth structure, and are gentle on the opposing teeth when you chew. Unlike crowns, these restorations are so beautiful they are often undetectable to the untrained eye.
So, why are silver amalgams still used? There are two answers they are less expensive and they are easy. Bonded restorations require tremendous operator skill and attention to detail to achieve the bond required for lasting success. Be sure to ask your dentist about the availability of inlays and onlays as an option to crowns, and composites as an upgrade to silver fillings.
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