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There are advantages and disadvantages to each type of restorative material. Silver amalgam has been used in dentistry for approximately 200 years. It is relatively easy to place , long lasting and very strong. It’s main objection is it’s lack of esthetics and mercury content. For this reason many patients prefer tooth colored restorations made of plastic or porcelain. Porcelain inlays and tooth-colored restorations create fillings that are not only esthetically pleasing, but also add strength to weakened teeth. These restorations give an illusion of reality and are very strong thanks to new bonding technologies.
Disadvantages of Silver Fillings
Silver fillings have many drawbacks. The edges of the silver filling can wear down, become weak or break. This results in the tooth not being protected and creates an environment where cavities get started once again. With age, the metal of a silver filling expands, contracts, and can split.
Silver fillings contain 50 percent mercury. They can corrode, leak, and cause stains on your teeth and gums.
Advantages of Tooth-Colored Restorations
There are many advantages to tooth-colored restorations. Resin or porcelain onlays are bonded to the teeth 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. The tooth remains intact and stronger.
Since the resin used in tooth-colored restorations contain fluoride this can help prevent decay. The resin wears like natural teeth and does not require placement at the gum line, which is healthier for your gums!
Replacing Silver Fillings with a Tooth-Colored Restoration
You can have your silver fillings replaced with tooth-colored restorations (onlays). This process requires two appointments. Dr. Sreter, the well known Jerusalem dentist, recommends this only in case where the silver fillings are extremely unslightly or have become decayed.
Your First Appointment
- The old filling and any decay is cleansed.
- An impression is made of your teeth and a model of your teeth is made and sent to the dental laboratory.
- A temporary onlay is placed on the tooth. If Dr. Sreter performs the CEREC technique then all the work will be accomplished in one visit.
At the Dental Laboratory
Resin or porcelain are carefully adapted to the model of your teeth. They are then designed to look like your natural tooth.
Your Second Appointment
- The temporary onlay is removed.
- A conditioning gel is placed on your tooth to prepare it for the new onlay.
- Bonding cement is placed on the tooth and a high intensity light bonds the resin to the tooth.
- The tooth is then polished. Your teeth are restored to a natural look and feel, they are stronger and the tooth is protected!