Written by Ross Nash, DDS Last modified on April 13, 2018
Used to restore damage associated with minor tooth fractures, chips or decay, dental fillings are one of the most commonly performed treatments. So it’s not surprising that I get a lot of questions related to them; many of which are centered on the topic of tooth colored fillings. So I thought I’d field a few of those common tooth-colored filling questions.
Q. Can cavities be restored (or silver fillings replaced) with tooth colored filling alternatives?
A. Simply stated, “yes.” There are a number of alternatives to the more traditional silver-amalgam fillings that were once a staple in dentistry. For example, composite resin fillings have the benefit of matching tooth color (making them look much more natural) and can be placed in one appointment, like silver fillings.
Q. Can gold inlays, onlays and crowns be changed to tooth colored materials?
A. While gold is still considered the best restorative material, there are various tooth-colored alternatives available today should you wish for a more natural looking option. Composite resin and ceramic materials can be used to restore teeth to good function while providing the natural esthetics people want.
Q. Are tooth colored materials strong enough?
A. Very strong materials have been developed. High-strength ceramic and composite resin materials adhesively bonded to the tooth can actually strengthen the remaining tooth structure. Patients should have no concerns about the strength and durability of these modern tooth-colored filling materials.
Q. Can tooth colored materials enhance the appearance of one’s smile?
A. Many people feel that the tooth colored restorations provide a more youthful and healthy appearance. Whereas gold and silver options are easily noticeable within the mouth, tooth-colored fillings blend in naturally, giving the appearance of a filling-free smile.
For continued reading, check out a blog post from Consumer Guide to Dentistry discussing the use of mercury amalgam fillings.