At Nancy Shiba, DDS, we are proud to boast that we are a mercury-free dental practice. However, we find that many of our patients still have silver fillings containing mercury from years past. This is not ideal. Known as amalgam fillings, their dark silver color is not pleasing to the eye, and the placement of this type of filling weakens the tooth structure. Porcelain inlays, onlays, and fillings using composite resin create tooth-colored restorations that are not only beautiful, but they also add strength to a tooth that has been weakened.
Advantages of Tooth-Colored Composite Restorations
There are many advantages to tooth-colored composite restorations. Composite is a blend of quartz and resin, In the past, the materials used for composite restorations were not as strong as those used in amalgam, but that is no longer the case. Resin onlays are bonded to your natural tooth structure, creating a tight, superior fit to the natural tooth. Such restorations can be used in instances where much of the tooth structure has been lost. We can build up the tooth, helping it be intact and stronger.
Since the resin used in tooth-colored restorations contains fluoride, these restorations may help prevent decay. The resin wears like natural teeth and does not require placement at the gumline, which is healthier for your gums. The result is a beautiful smile. Advantages of composite material include:
Disadvantages of Silver Fillings
Amalgam (silver) fillings have many disadvantages. The edges of the amalgam fillings can wear down, resulting in breakage and the weakening of the tooth. Worn teeth will result in the tooth not being protected as it should, allowing bacteria passage and leading to cavities. With age, the metal of a silver filling expands, contracts, and can split.
Silver fillings are comprised of 50% mercury. They can corrode, leak and cause stains on your teeth and gums. Some of the disadvantages of amalgam fillings include:
Fortunately, Dr. Shiba can safely replace your silver fillings with tooth-colored composite restorations. For more information on composite fillings, contact our front desk at our San Jose office at (408) 929-8991, our staff is happy to answer your questions and assist you in scheduling an appointment.