Esthetically Restoring Smiles with Tooth-Colored Fillings
Tooth or mouth pain may signal a cavity. When plaque forms on teeth, the acids can cause deterioration and decay. In the past, amalgam, or metal, fillings were used to fill cavities. Recent concerns about mercury-containing amalgams have prompted many dentists to offer patients other options. Dr. Cranham practices mercury-free dentistry and uses tooth-colored porcelain and composite resin fillings to repair decay and restore dental health.
Disadvantages of Metal Fillings
Metal fillings are unattractive. They’re not strong, either, and may actually weaken teeth. The edges of metal fillings can deteriorate and create openings that bacteria can penetrate. Amalgams also contain mercury that can corrode, leak, and stain teeth and gums.
Dr. Cranham uses porcelain fillings to restore teeth that have significant damage but that don’t require a full crown. Porcelain fillings, also called inlays and onlays, are extremely durable, match existing tooth color, and protect teeth for years to come. An inlay fits inside the cusps, or bumps, of a tooth. An onlay is larger and covers one or more tooth cusps.
How are porcelain fillings applied?
Porcelain fillings can be placed in a single visit. Dr. Cranham will remove damage or decay and prepare your tooth for restoration. He’ll take a digital impression and create your restoration on site with our CEREC or D4D technology. In some cases, Dr. Cranham may have a lab create a porcelain filling.
Some Things to Consider…
Metal fillings can reduce tooth strength up to 50%. Porcelain fillings are bonded directly onto teeth with special high-strength resins and can actually increase tooth strength up to 75%. This means that your restoration may last from 10 to 30 years.
Composite Resin Fillings
If your tooth’s damage is small, Dr. Cranham may suggest a tooth-colored composite resin filling. Composite resin is durable, long-lasting, and impervious to decay. Dr. Cranham will remove your tooth’s decay, then tint a small amount of composite resin and bond it into your prepared cavity. The result is a strong, attractive restoration that will strengthen and protect your tooth.
Can you replace my metal fillings with tooth-colored ones?
Yes! Many people ask us to replace their metal fillings. Dr. Cranham removes amalgam fillings and replaces them with durable, attractive, tooth-colored restorations.