For the past 150 years, dentists have been placing metal fillings to replace decayed or fractured tooth structure. In the past few years, dentistry has progressed to where we can now restore your teeth with resin bonded materials that are significantly more advanced than the silver amalgam fillings of old. Silver amalgam, when initially placed, have openings with the tooth big enough for bacteria and saliva to penetrate. When they corrode, larger openings occur while water penetrates causing expansion of material. Expansion of the filling puts damaging forces of the remaining tooth structure. Thermal expansion and contraction of the amalgam is different from the thermal expansion and contraction of the tooth and these uneven forces weaken the existing tooth.
Resin fillings have many advantages over the silver amalgam restorations.
They come in different colors to match or lighten the color of your teeth.
They chemically bond to the tooth structure, so less healthy tooth needs to be removed to make the restoration stay in place.
This chemical bond seals the tooth better from saliva and bacteria.
The tooth is made stronger after the filling is completed due to this bonding ability.
Thus, bonded teeth are less prone to fractures that require more extensive and expensive treatments.
These advanced restorations cost more than the silver amalgam fillings due to increased placement time and cost of materials. Unfortunately, some insurance companies do not recognize the superiority of these advanced restorations and refer to resin restorations asonly cosmetic in nature. These companies save themselves money by only paying the equivalent for the time they think it takes to place a silver filling. We keep up to date with the latest advances in dentistry, through continuing education so that we can provide state of the art health care. We feel that the breakthroughs in adhesive dentistry and ourattention to detail allow us to deliver the highest possible level of care to our patients.
See also: Restoration Options.
If you have questions about resin bonded fillings, please feel free to inquire.