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Dental Fillings & Restoration

Tooth Fillings Brookhaven

These days, thanks to the popularity of fluoride in our public drinking water, cavities are less and less prominent. Hence, the need for fillings has decreased.

However, in generations prior, nearly everyone had a mouth full of tooth fillings, often silver in color and very visible to the naked eye. It was what dentists did back then and, today, many individuals who have silver fillings are finding that those fillings are beginning to wear down.

At Gentle Smiles Dental, we can assist you in replacing those unsightly fillings, offering attractive tooth-colored restorations that will make your smile more pleasant and your mouth healthier.

What’s the problem with silver fillings?

Dental amalgam fillings – those silver or gray fillings used for ages – consist of silver, tin, copper, and zinc, all bound together by liquid mercury. They’ve been around since the 1800s and were used in the U.S. for more than 100 years. They were indeed long the standard for filling decayed teeth and considered state-of-the-art at one time. The material was strong and durable and the fillings were fairly resistant to decay.

But, over time, these fillings can turn black and they can weaken the tooth structure. Furthermore, individuals with a lot of amalgam fillings report increased sensitivity to hot and cold over time. Plus, who really wants a mouth full of liquid mercury? Indeed, concerns about the toxicity of silver fillings have been discussed for years.

Our restorative alternatives to silver fillings

At Gentle Smiles Dental, we share those concerns, so we are a mercury-free practice. That means if you need a new filling, it won’t be of the amalgam variety. Instead, we offer more attractive, viable alternatives to those old-fashioned fillings.

Tooth-colored fillings (resin) are highly preferred for filling decayed teeth these days, and they mimic the natural appearance of your tooth structure. That means they are rarely visible, both in the front and back of your mouth. The material in a white filling also bonds naturally to the tooth, so there’s no reason to compromise tooth structure with grooves or pins to retain them. Additionally, tooth sensitivity is minimal.

The restoration process

Dr. Mixson and the Gentle Smiles Dental staff have replaced hundreds of old amalgam fillings with tooth-colored alternatives. The process is simple and often requires no numbing because the material chemically bonds to the tooth. Once decay is removed and the tooth is cleaned, the area is “primed”, a bonding agent is applied, and the filling material is then placed inside the tooth. Smoothing and polishing completes the process.

Are tooth-colored fillings right for you?

Sounds easy enough, but only your dentist can help you decide whether you should replace old mercury-based fillings and if white fillings or other alternatives are the right ones for you. Cost and aesthetics will certainly be a part of the decision.

To learn more about fillings and restorations, make an appointment with our Gentle Smiles Dental staff today.