What is So Special About Our Fillings?
First of all, it is probably more accurate to call them dental restorations, because that is what they do. They restore the tooth to its original strength and appearance.
There has been a great deal of research and improvements in restorations for teeth the last few years. We strive to remain up to date, and have made a lot of changes in the way that we restore teeth.
You may have heard of the controversy surrounding silver/mercury fillings. There have been many statements made that they may be harmful. I would not have a new silver filling placed in my mouth or that of my family. There are many other restorative materials that are far superior without the worry of mercury toxicity.
If we are placing a restoration in a back tooth, and it is not in an area that takes a great deal of biting force, we will generally place a tooth-colored one (composite resin). These have many advantages over silver fillings. Obviously one tremendous advantage is they look just like the tooth. Also, since they are chemically bonded to the tooth, they do not weaken the tooth like silver fillings can.
We put a lot of effort into our composite restorations. First of all, since it is critical that the area is perfectly isolated we will almost always place a rubber dam on the tooth, which will act like a raincoat. It keeps moisture away from the tooth while we work on it, and it keeps our materials out of your mouth.
Then the bonding process takes about 12 separate steps. These are all very critical and must be done precisely or the bond is weakened. In most of my fillings I am utilizing the Er:Yag Fotona laser. Besides often eliminating the need for you to receive a shot, it has the added benefit of providing a better tooth surface to bond to. When we place the restoration we use 2 – 4 different types of materials. We place one type in the deeper parts of the tooth to provide ideal strength and others on the chewing surface that polish nicer and do not wear down very easily. These are critical steps to insure the longest lasting restoration, but unfortunately are rarely done by most dentists.
All of these steps take far more skill and more time is involved. This means the initial cost to place a composite restoration may be higher than a silver filling. But in the long term, they will prove to be far more economical since the tooth is less likely to need expensive treatment (such as a crown) at a later date.
We are very excited about the advances in the science of dentistry and work very hard to be able to provide the very latest in techniques and materials for you. We believe that the more you know about what we are doing, the more you will appreciate it.