Replacing Silver Restorations With Dental Bonding
Benefits Of Composite Fillings (Dental Bonding)
Natural Appearance – Composite resins are available in various shades, so your dentist can match your natural tooth and surrounding smile.
Natural Tooth Structure Conservation – Composite bonds to our natural tooth structure, meaning there are no specific requirements for the shape of preparation or the amount of tooth removed.
Easy Repairability – Your dentist can repair a chipped composite filling without removing the entire restoration.
Is it Time to Replace Your Silver Fillings?
Silver or amalgam fillings are dental restorations used to repair tooth decay. People call them “silver” fillings because of their greyish-silver color and shiny, metallic appearance.
Technically, this dental restoration is an amalgam of multiple metals (including silver, tin, copper, and mercury). Each metal provides the amalgam with properties beneficial for placement and function in the mouth.
What are the Downsides of Amalgam Fillings?
The most apparent disadvantage of amalgam fillings is their aesthetic appearance. The shiny silver appearance can be visible during speech and laughter, and most people prefer teeth that appear natural, without the appearance of silver fillings.
Another disadvantage of amalgam fillings is their need for specifically-shaped tooth preparation. The amalgam material does not bond with natural tooth structure, so your dentist must cut away more tooth structure when preparing the tooth for the best chance of retention. If the tooth is prepared incorrectly, the amalgam material will fall out. The specific requirements for an amalgam preparation often require minimal removal of healthy tooth structure, meaning amalgam material is less conservative than other filling material options.
Many people also fear the mercury content in amalgam fillings. Those with a true mercury allergy may experience side effects from these fillings. However, The American Dental Association affirms that amalgam is a “durable, safe, and effective” restorative material for all patients.
Signs It Is Time to Replace your Silver Fillings with Composite Material
As the patient, you can replace your silver fillings if you do not like their appearance. Dr. Perrone will also recommend replacement if there is a problem with your existing metal fillings. Some of those problems may include the following:
- You have developed new tooth decay under the edge of an existing metal filling.
- Your existing filling is no longer sealing correctly, allowing bacterial contamination inside the tooth.
- Your existing filling is cracked or broken.
- Your tooth structure surrounding the current filling is cracked.
What are the Benefits of Composite Fillings?
Composite fillings have been a part of modern dentistry for decades, and continual research and development have improved their appearance and functionality. Composite fillings, technically called “composite resin restorations,” carry several advantages over their metal counterparts.
The advantage patients appreciate most about composite fillings is their natural aesthetic appearance. Composite resins are available in various shades, so Dr. Perrone can match the surrounding natural tooth structure as closely as possible. Dr. Perrone uses composite resin to rebuild decayed or broken front teeth because the appearance is so natural.
Conservation of Natural Tooth Structure
The composite resin forms a micromechanical bond with healthy enamel and its underlying dentin. This bond is used to keep orthodontic brackets on the teeth. It is very strong and capable of withstanding normal chewing forces. Because composite bonds to the natural tooth structure, there are no specific requirements for the shape of preparation or the amount of tooth structure removed. This allows Dr. Perrone to be conservative and preserve your natural, healthy tooth structure.
Composite not only bonds to natural tooth structure; it bonds to itself. This means your dentist can repair a chipped composite filling without removing the entire restoration. This also helps preserve natural tooth structure by preventing excessive drilling on the tooth.
Are Composite Fillings Safe for Kids?
Children will most commonly receive a composite filling because of tooth decay. Composite resin can also repair broken front teeth when children suffer traumatic injuries that cause enamel chipping.
Dental caries is the most common chronic disease for those between the ages of 6 to 19 years old. Over half of the adolescents aged 12 to 19 have had a cavity in at least one of their permanent teeth. Due to the prevalence of tooth decay in childhood, the need for dental treatment is clear. Your dentist will restore your child’s cavities with composite fillings whenever possible.
What to Expect During the Replacement Procedure
Replacing an existing filling should feel similar to the patient’s as the initial filling’s placement did. Dr. Perrone will use a local anesthetic to numb the tooth and surrounding soft tissues so you feel no discomfort during the procedure. Then she will remove the existing filling.
After Dr. Perrone removes the silver filling material and any underlying decay, the composite filling is placed. First, the area must be isolated and saliva-free during placement. After the placement, she will rinse your mouth thoroughly to remove any remaining debris.
You may also notice the use of a bright blue light during the procedure. This light stimulates the composite material’s hardening after your dentist shapes it to the proper contour. Finally, Dr. Perrone will smooth and polish the new restoration to feel and look natural in your mouth. If you feel something unusual after the anesthetic wears off, you can return for an adjustment.
Replacing Silver Fillings: Your Next Steps
Do you have silver fillings in your mouth? If you are unhappy with their appearance, speak with Dr. Perrone to see if they may need to be replaced during your next check-up. Dr. Perrone will also investigate the health of each filling at all of your evaluation appointments and let you know if any need replacement.
A dentist has many tools to restore your teeth but none more important than dental bonding. It is a versatile cosmetic dentistry procedure that can restore your smile to its natural form and function.
If you are ready to restore your smile, contact Marielaina Perrone, DDS, at (702) 458-2929 to schedule a no-cost cosmetic consultation appointment. We cannot wait to help you with your smile makeover to create the smile of your dreams.