Most likely, any dentist would recommend the same treatment for tooth cavities: dental fillings. However, the technique, type of filling material, and aesthetic result can vary widely. That is why quality conscious families in Salt Lake City, UT trust their oral health to Cannon Dental.
As a mercury-free dental practice, we use composite or porcelain restorations, which are indiscernible when skillfully placed. Due to the quality of modern bonding material, they are also very strong. Unfortunately, many people currently have old silver fillings, which are unattractive or failing. They can be replaced with new, beautiful, metal-free restorations.
The problem with silver fillings
First, these fillings are not actually silver. They are amalgam, which is an alloy containing a small amount of silver. Amalgam also contains other metals, including about 50 percent mercury. Over time, they darken, usually staining the surrounding tooth. Even more concerning, they tend to weaken, wear down, and crack. When a dental filling fails, the underlying tooth structure is exposed to decay-causing bacteria.
The benefits of cosmetic materials
The most obvious benefit of porcelain or resin is that it matches the color of your tooth. No one will ever guess that you had a cavity! However, these materials have other benefits as well:
- Metal-free, biocompatible, and non-allergenic
- Resin onlays contain fluoride to prevent decay around the restoration
- Precision bonding techniques ensure a tight fit
- Restorations are custom-made to fit the cavity, thus preserving the healthy part of the tooth
Two steps to updating your dental fillings
The process for replacing amalgam fillings requires one to two appointments, depending on the size and placement of the amalgam. Dr. Cannon will determine the best option for you after conducting a thorough evaluation of your existing restorations and oral health. For patients who need more advanced restorations (typically called inlays or onlays):
- First is preparation. Dr. Cannon will remove the old filling and clean out any decayed material. Then, if needed, he will take an impression to create a precise model of your teeth and a temporary filling is placed to protect the tooth.
- Your permanent resin onlay is fabricated in a dental laboratory. When it is ready, you’ll return to the office for your second visit. Dr. Cannon will remove the temporary filling, clean the tooth, and apply a conditioning gel. Next, the new onlay is bonded in place and polished. When complete, your tooth will look natural, healthy, and beautiful.
In many cases, Dr. Cannon can successfully restore your tooth in one visit with a composite filling. If this is the case, then he will first prepare your tooth as described above, and then replace it by painting composite resin onto the tooth layer by layer, hardening it with a specialized curing light.
Get started today
Are you seeking a beautiful, healthy solution for cavities or old, failing fillings? Give us a call at (801) 406-9985 and schedule an appointment.