At Yampa Valley Family Dentistry we offer two types of restorations, more commonly referred to as fillings. Tooth colored resin (composite) fillings and silver amalgam restorations. Like everything in life there are pros and cons to both and your specific situation may dictate the choice of material, of course the type of material is always up to you.
Tooth colored resin restorations are not only beautiful (or unnoticeable) but in some situations can also add strength to weakened teeth. These fillings are esthetically pleasing and very strong thanks to new bonding technologies and are the primary type of filling we place.
Tooth-Colored Resin Fillings
There are many advantages to tooth-colored fillings. Resin bonded to the teeth creates 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.
The main disadvantages of tooth colored resin restorations is the life span, compared to silver amalgam fillings which could last 20-40 years, tooth colored resin restorations may last only 5-20 years and may need to be replaced. Good oral hygiene practices and a healthful diet will of course increase the life span of your fillings.
The result is a beautiful smile!
Silver fillings have both advantages and drawbacks. The edges of the silver filling expand, this creates a very strong seal between the tooth structure and filling material. Silver fillings have been seen to last 20-40 years or more, of course this is also dependent upon home oral care and diet. However, because of the expansion that occurs following placement of silver amalgam fillings teeth can become susceptible to micro fractures that ultimately weaken the tooth. Silver fillings contain 50 percent mercury. They are generally placed in posterior teeth and rarely seen by anyone. They can corrode, leak and cause stains on your teeth and gums but do offer a filling that in most situations last a very long time.
If your silver fillings bother you they can safely be replaced with tooth-colored resin restorations.
Replacing Silver Fillings with a Tooth Colored Restoration
You can have your silver fillings replaced with tooth-colored restorations. This is generally a very straight forward process, it does require removing more tooth structure prior to placing the new tooth colored resin restoration.
Your teeth are restored to a natural look and feel, they are stronger and the tooth is protected!