Tooth Colored Fillings Restore Your Smile Seamlessly

Tooth Colored Fillings/Sonic Fill

The days of having to compromise with black, unsightly fillings are over. Today we have tooth colored filling materials that not only look natural but virtually disappear in the mouth. These fillings have already been around for several decades and have physical properties that are approaching those of natural teeth. They have become the standard today for repairing teeth that have been fractured or damaged by tooth decay. The latest development, Sonic Fill, allows the Doctor to place these materials more efficiently than ever, resulting in a fill that is more dense, in a shorter treatment time. Contact us today to set up your consultation.

Amalgam Fillings

Amalgam fillings also know as metal or mercury fillings have been used in Dentistry for over 100 years. Almost everyone has had one of these types of fillings placed in their mouth at some point in time. They can be very durable lasting for many years. On the downside, these fillings are unforgiving with the result being teeth that are more prone to fracture and the main reason for teeth requiring the placement of a crown.

There has been controversy for many years concerning the safety of metal fillings in the mouth. This article was not intended to address this complex issue in depth and if you would like additional information concerning this please let us know. Metal fillings are an amalgamation of several metals including silver, copper, tin, and zinc, mercury is the glue that holds it all together. Things change over time and usually for the better. As a kid I remember playing with mercury and even holding it in my hands. Today that would be unthinkable as it is considered a very dangerous material to be exposed to. Dental amalgam has been accused of numerous health related issues. Some patients have reported near miraculous cures as a result of having these kinds of fillings removed.

The ADA(American Dental Association) has done numerous studies defending the safety of metal fillings. My thoughts are that even though any health risks are probably minimal, if any, the bottom line is that these fillings lead to fractured teeth and are just plain ugly and I consider any additional health benefits a bonus. Many patients when looking in their mouth or when someone else points them out, mistakenly assume they have decay present when they see how dark their teeth have become from years of having these fillings present. Although it is always possible for decay to be present under older fillings, normally the dark color is a result of both the breakdown of the filling material and actual staining of the tooth itself.

Composite Fillings

Composite fillings are tooth colored and are made from very fine glass particles that are held together by a resin. Unlike the old metal fillings they are bonded into place which results in less stress on the surrounding tooth structure. Metal fillings actually expand when setting which helps them to stay in but also places added stress on the tooth which can lead to fractures and broken teeth over time. Composite adheres to tooth structure by a bonding process that places a very thin layer of resin between the composite material and tooth structure.

Originally composites were self-cured, which meant that two components were mixed together and a setting reaction would take place with the the Doctor having no control on when that would happen, making the process very technique sensitive. Light cured composite eliminated any mixing and allowed the doctor to have as much working time as needed, and when ready is able to cure the material with a special wavelength blue light. Initially tooth colored fillings were primarily used in the anterior portion of the mouth. Over time composite materials were adapted to be able to be used in posterior teeth as well.

We are usually able to replace existing metal fillings in the back of the mouth with composite ones with minimal loss of remaining tooth structure. Once replaced these teeth may have a reduced chance of future fracture. If teeth have multiple fracture lines or not enough tooth structure remains than a crown may be a better long term treatment option.

Sonic Fill

Sonic Fill is a new composite placement device that has several advantages. Normal posterior composites are placed in layers due to the difficulty of placement and the inability to cure filling material past a couple millimeters of thickness. This can result in a filling material that is less dense withe the possibility of voids and separation between multiple layers. Sonic Fill uses a special handpiece which allows sonic energy to modify the viscosity of composite by as much as 90%. This allows for the placement of the composite with superior adaptation and without voids. The process also allows the the procedure to be completed more quickly sometimes reducing treatment time by half.

Today it is not necessary to have metal fillings placed in your mouth along with their many disadvantages. Tooth colored filling materials have shown to be durable with a long life-span and can be undetectable from your natural tooth. We are happy to discuss treatment options with you to determine if tooth colored filling materials are the restorative material of choice for you and your teeth. For more information contact our office and schedule your consultation with Dr. Wade. 

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E. Mark Wade, DDS

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