Tooth Fillings | Austin TX
What is a filling?
Fillings are done on teeth to essentially replace compromised tooth structure. What is then considered compromised tooth structure? Things such as tooth decay (cavities), tooth fractures, and worn down teeth are some of the examples. In order to place a filling, the compromised tooth structure must first be removed and the tooth prepared to retain the filling such as placing a bonding adhesive. The most commonly used filling material is a modified tooth colored resin called composite. The composite is then molded into the area of missing tooth structure and hardened by using a blue curing light.
We are a mercury-free practice. However, many people still have silver/mercury fillings in their mouths from years past. These fillings are not particularly pleasing to the eye, and we know that by unavoidable design, silver/mercury fillings ultimately result in a weaker tooth structure. Porcelain inlays and Tooth Colored Restorations (onlays) create fillings that are not only beautiful (or unnoticeable) but also add strength to weakened teeth. These restorations are esthetically pleasing and very strong thanks to new bonding technologies.
Disadvantages of Silver fillings:
Silver fillings have many drawbacks. The edges of the silver filling can wear down, become weak or break. This results in the tooth not being protected and lets cavities get started once again. With age, the metal of a silver filling expands, contracts, and can split.
Silver fillings contain 50 percent mercury. They can corrode, leak and cause stains on your teeth and gums.
Fortunately, silver fillings can safely be replaced with Tooth-Colored Restorations.
Are Silver Fillings Safe?
In light of the recent negative publicity silver amalgam fillings have been receiving from various media sources, people often ask if these fillings are a health hazard. The quick answer is no. These types of fillings have been placed for around 100 years and have been studied exhaustively. There has been no significant study that has linked these fillings to health problems. Amalgam fillings can be replaced with composite fillings if they are defective or if the patient demands it for cosmetic reasons.
Advantages of Tooth-Colored Restorations
There are many advantages to tooth-colored restorations. Resin onlays are bonded to the teeth creating 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.
Since the resin used in tooth-colored restorations contain fluoride this can help prevent decay. The resin wears like natural teeth and does not require placement at the gum line, which is healthier for your gums!
The result is a beautiful smile!
Replacing Silver Fillings with a Tooth Colored Restoration
You can have your silver fillings replaced with tooth-colored restorations (onlays). This process requires two appointments.
Your First Appointment:
- The old filling is removed along with any additional decay.
- An impression is made of your teeth. A model of your teeth is made and sent to the lab.
- A temporary onlay is placed on the tooth.
At the Lab: A resin is carefully placed into the model of your teeth. It is then designed to look natural.
Your Second Appointment:
- The temporary onlay is removed.
- A conditioning gel is placed on your tooth to prepare it for the new onlay.
- Bonding cement is placed on the tooth and a high intensity light bonds the resin to the tooth.
- The tooth is then polished.
Your teeth are restored to a natural look and feel, they are stronger and the tooth is protected!
North Austin Dentistry
The entire team at Austin Smiles is outstanding! My initial experience with Dr. Miller really highlighted his skill level, compassion and personable manner. He went well above and beyond to make sure I had access to after hours care and even stayed late, which says it all! When I brought my kids in, he immediately put them at ease and actually made the experience fun for all of us. I cannot stress enough how exceptional the team is at Austin Smiles, I highly, highly recommend them.
- Mandy R
We love Austin Smiles!!! Thank you all for taking the time to provide exceptional care and provide detailed care plans for future visits. Dr. Miller and staff are incredible and I would highly recommend to anyone. I am most thankful for the recent treatment where I received immediate relief through laser therapy for my ulcers. It was just the intervention needed to ease up a pretty significant flare up. If you suffer from autoimmune disease, please ask Dr. Miller how laser therapy can help you when you are battling canker sores.
- Michelle S
What more can I say, this is by far one of the best dentists I have been to! Dr. Miller and his staff are incredibly professional and truly care about the well-being of their patients. They put them first by taking the time to thoroughly explain procedures and provide helpful education along the way. I greatly appreciate that he is willing to ask questions first in order to understand me as a patient and make personal recommendations around maintaining healthy dental habits from there. The staff is incredibly welcoming and make it a point to know you by name when you walk in - you just don't get that type of customer service these days! I am extremely fortunate to have discovered Austin Smiles through a personal reference and would pass along my highest recommendations for anyone currently looking for a trusted Dentist!
- Tae T