Mercury-Free Tooth-Colored Restoration

One of the most common procedures for any dentist office is the placement of fillings for dental restoration. At Castle Rock Dental, we perform this general dentistry procedure along with the more complex dental procedures of dental implants and dentures.

When a patient needs a tooth restored, there are several options available to them, but our dentistry office will always recommend a tooth-colored restoration.

Drawbacks Of Metal Amalgam Fillings

In the distant past, metal fillings with mercury were one of the few ways to repair damaged teeth. In fact, silver amalgam filling is still found in many teeth today and is a mix of silver, copper, tin, and mercury. Unfortunately, the mercury part of the filling makes up 50% of the mixture.

Yet, as dental science has advanced to provide more options, the drawbacks of silver amalgam filings become more apparent.

  • As a silver filling ages, the metal in the filling will expand and contract, causing it to split due to the movement.
  • The mercury in the filling can cause corrosion in the filling, which will allow it to leak and potentially stain your gums and teeth.
  • Edges of a silver amalgam filling can become weak and wear down, with the potential to break. This will leave the tooth vulnerable to bacteria.
  • Silver amalgam fillings are very noticeable, especially if they are used on more visible areas of the teeth. With other options available, the unattractive nature of silver fillings becomes a solvable problem.

Types Of Tooth-Colored Restorations

Instead of choosing a silver amalgam filling, you can opt to have a tooth-colored filling. This filling is made of a synthetic dental resin. There are two ways you address damaged teeth with tooth-colored restorations.

Composite Filling

One of the most common ways to use tooth-colored restoration is as a dental filling. As tooth decay is cleared away, the filling material can be placed and create a seamless seal over the cleaned out area.

The dental composite filling can be shaped to accommodate any placement site so your teeth can remain natural-looking post filling. A small downside to composite fillings is that they do not last as long as silver amalgam, with the composite generally lasting 5 years and the silver lasting around 10-15 years.

Resin Veneer

Dental resin can help restore teeth which are either damaged or misshapen. If needed, decay is cleared out and then a veneer can be placed. This veneer can be color-matched and is strong enough to work smoothly with your natural teeth.

Advantages Of Choosing Tooth-Colored Restorations

There are several advantages of choosing mercury-free, tooth-colored restorations over silver amalgam fillings.

  • The composite filling is strong and seals well to the teeth for a tight fit to keep out bacteria.
  • Fluoride is included in tooth-colored restoration fillings, which help protect your teeth from decay.
  • Choosing a tooth-colored filling will give your teeth a natural look as they can be color-matched to your natural teeth.
  • The tooth-colored restorations can help restore lost tooth structure and preserve the tooth’s strength.
  • Resin veneers are more affordable than dental implants for tooth restoration.

Steps To Replace Mercury Filling With Tooth-Colored Restoration

If you would like to replace your mercury silver composite filling with a tooth-colored filling for a restored, natural smile, our dentists can help you achieve that goal. Depending on which restoration you are interested in, there are different steps to take.

To have a composite filling placed in place of an old mercury filling, the steps are:

  1. Meet with our dentists for a consultation and schedule an appointment for removal as well as the replacement.
  2. Our dentist will remove the old silver amalgam filling and clean out any decay which may have occurred.
  3. A composite filling will be placed and light treated to bond and seal the tooth.

The steps to remove your old filling and replace it with a tooth-colored resin veneer are:

  1. Meet with our dentists for a consultation and schedule an appointment for removal.
  2. Our dentists will remove the old silver filling along with any decay which may have snuck in.
  3. If you are having a tooth-colored veneer placed, an impression will be made of your teeth. The impression will be sent to the lab so your new restoration will match with your natural teeth.
  4. A temporary veneer will be placed to protect your tooth until the veneer arrives.
  5. At the second appointment, your tooth will be prepped with conditioning gel then the veneer will be placed.
  6. Our dentists will bond it with dental cement and use high-intensity light to bond the resin veneer to your tooth.
  7. Lastly, your tooth will be polished and any excess removed.

At Castle Rock Dental, we understand the value of a beautiful smile, which is why we are committed to helping our patients achieve the smile of their dreams. If you want to experience top-quality dental care in Billings, Montana, contact us to set an appointment today.