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Can silver fillings be replaced with white fillings?

Many people have had silver fillings placed into their teeth because they had "cavities". These silver fillings are called amalgams.  Amalgam fills the space where the decay in the tooth has been removed.

However, over time, the amalgam corrodes and leaks which blackens the silver, and many times the tooth. This is easily seen as soon as a patient opens his or her mouth and is usually a source of embarrassment for the patient.

Silver fillings can be replaced with composite fillings that are made of a resin material that actually bonds to the tooth for a tight seal. They are strong and stain-resistant, and they are color-matched to the natural tooth, making them virtually invisible.


What can be done about cracked, worn, discolored or broken teeth?

For over 100 years, dentists have been using silver-mercury amalgam fillings to restore decayed or broken teeth. The only other alternative was gold and that was too expensive for most people. Now there is a new and economical way to restore teeth using tooth-colored resin fillings.

The resin is made up of glass particles suspended in a plastic solution. The putty-like material bonds to the tooth with a high-intensity light. This hardens the material and allows it to be shaped and polished for immediate use.

Once completed, the tooth has a natural appearance and is actually stronger than before due to the strength of the adhesive agent used to bond the resin to the tooth.


What are porcelain veneers?

A veneer is actually a thin piece of porcelain similar in size to a fingernail.  Once it is "bonded" onto the tooth it becomes extremely strong.  The veneer blends in with the remaining tooth structure so that it is unnoticeable to the naked-eye.  Once in place, it looks, feels, and functions just like a regular tooth.  Porcelain veneers are used to change the shape and color of a single tooth or, if necessary, revamp an entire smile. 


What are cosmetic dental crowns?

Teeth are often restored with fillings of silver or composite plastics.  These materials can often accomplish the aim of replacing the part of the tooth that has been lost in a strong and good-looking manner.

However, there comes a point where the damage to the tooth has removed too much structure to hold a filling.  The restoration must be done by a technique that will attach to the remaining tooth, stand up under heavier use and meet more elaborate cosmetic requirements.

The crown is the dental restoration that can strengthen and restore the entire top of a tooth.  The crown can also be part of the attachment of a fixed bridge for the replacement of teeth.  The tooth is strengthened because it is covered from the outside with a casting of metal or ceramic that will wrap up and splint the tooth.

The chewing of the tooth can be improved because it can be reshaped to match more efficiently with the opposing teeth.  A crown can improve cosmetics by the use of modern ceramic processes that produce translucency and color that is more natural than has ever been possible.

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