Dental Fillings

The most common form of dental restoration is the placement of fillings to restore tooth decay or to replace previously placed fillings that have worn or fractured. Currently, the best restorative material for most fillings are modern composites. They are tooth colored, bond to and seal teeth extremely well, and are made in many different formulas in order to mimic tooth structure closely. Together with a great variety of shades, the use of the appropriate composites, often a combination of at least two in any one restoration, can actually restore a tooth to fairly near it's natural state. This has obvious cosmetic advantages when restoring teeth visible in you smile as the natural appearing composites are highly polish able and reflect light and resist staining like natural enamel.

The main benefit in using composites to restore defects in back teeth is that since these materials bond to and seal teeth, the remaining natural tooth is not as likely to fracture as happens when metallic restorations are placed. For instance, amalgam fillings, most commonly know as the dreaded silver fillings, often act like a wedge in a tooth. Over time under chewing forces the amalgam fillings actually spread causing outward stress on cusps of teeth. The teeth become dry and brittle around these fillings and eventually fracture. In addition, amalgam fillings contain mercury which is know toxic material at any level and studies have shown that mercury is continually released from these fillings and into your mouth during chewing. Currently, neither the FDA nor the American Dental Association has banned the use of amalgam, but in some states it can only be placed after a patient has signed releases acknowledging it's potential toxicity. I just don't use it and leave it up to patients to decide if their functioning silver fillings should be replaced.

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