Dentist Loyal Heights
Dental Fillings are one of the most common restorative procedures in dentistry. When a cavity is removed from a tooth, a void or hole remains. The hole is filled with a bio-compatible material that seals off the vulnerable area and restores the original form and appearance to the tooth.
At Crown Hill Smiles, we use two basic materials for dental fillings, tooth-colored composite or silver amalgam. Both are excellent long-lasting materials.
Composite is the predominant material we use for dental fillings. Since its inception, dental composite has been constantly improving and is now indicated for use anywhere in the mouth. It is a strong, highly esthetic material that comes in a variety of shades to provide a perfect match to your natural tooth color. Our patients are thrilled at composite's ability to blend in so well.
Dental composite is composed of a blend of quartz and resin that is hardened in the mouth with ultraviolet light. It is a more finicky material than dental amalgam, and can only be used in situations where contamination from saliva can be controlled. Our dentists typically institute a dental dam to isolate and keep the working field dry for these types of fillings.
Our dentists, Dr. O'Connor and Dr. Walker love using composite. This material has other benefits including its ability to bond to enamel, permitting more conservative preparation of tooth structure as compared to amalgam.
Our dentists at Crown Hill Smiles will discuss with you which filling is most appropriate for your situation, based on where it will be placed and your personal preference.
Dental amalgam is a material that has been around for hundreds years and has truly stood the test of time. This product is known for its strength, durability and its ability to withstand the forces created from chewing. This is the traditional filling product used, and we know it to be effective. The large downside to this material is its dark silver color that many of our patients would prefer to not have in their mouth.
Dental amalgam is composed of a blend of biocompatible metals that become unified (amalgamated) upon the addition of mercury. There has been recent controversy over possible mercury exposure from amalgam fillings. The truth is that most of the mercury involved is removed during the placement of the filling. Once the cavity is filled, only trace levels of mercury remain. As the amalgam hardens, these trace levels become trapped in the hardened material and are thereby inactive. This mercury can be potentially be re-released during the process of removing the amalgam fillings, but we do this under a dental dam and high powered suction. Any potential mercury exposure from this is extremely minimal - you are exposed to much higher levels of mercury if you consume seafood.
Aesthetic Bonding with dental composite
In addition to filling voids left by cavities, we can use composite to improve the look and feel of your teeth. At Crown Hill Smiles, we use composite dental bonding to repair minor chips and discolorations,close small gaps, and lengthen short or worn teeth. Our patients love this procedure. It is a fast, low-cost fix that is more conservative than dental veneers or crowns. In situations where a simple repair is all that is needed, bonding with dental composite is a great option.
If you have questions about dental fillings and the materials used, contact our Seattle dental office at: 206-204-9623