Dental technology has made many advances over the past few decades. This advance in technology has even provided a much-welcomed change in the simple practice of filling cavities. The standard for many years was to use silver and other metals for fillings. Cavities are now filled with a more modern material that produces natural looking restorations for damaged teeth. We no longer use metals or amalgams to fill cavities at Impressions Dentistry. We desire to restore the tooth to its original, natural look. We place tooth-colored fillings in our office.
Advances in Bonding Technology
While silver fillings were the common practice for filling cavities for many years, they were always susceptible to cracking easily. Tremendous improvements in bonding technology has provided options that are far superior. The material now used creates a far stronger bond with your existing natural teeth. This has also opened the door for dentists to repair many silver fillings that had already cracked.
Weaknesses in Silver Fillings
There have always been some specific flaws that were readily apparent in silver fillings:
- It is almost certain that they will crack at some point in the future. The silver is constantly expanding and contracting as temperatures change around the patient. This eventually weakens the silver and causes it to crack.
- Silver fillings have a tendency to wear down on the edges over time. Eventually, this wearing down causes the filling to crack.
- After a silver filling cracks, the tooth is then vulnerable to additional decay.
- Since these fillings were partially made of mercury, a cracked or broken filling would create the likelihood of mercury leaking onto the teeth and gums nearby.
Advantages of Composite Fillings
- Modern technology has created composite fillings that are much stronger than silver.
- The natural looking composite material looks like the natural enamel of real teeth.
- The combination of strong material and visually appealing material creates the perfect filling for cavities. Composite fillings are also the perfect option for repairing old silver fillings.