Barrhavensmiles | Fillings

By: Barr Haven Smiles  09-12-2011
Keywords: teeth, oral health


In the past, teeth were most commonly repaired with amalgam (silver) fillings or gold restorations. Thanks to advances in modern dental materials and techniques, teeth can be restored with a more aesthetic and natural appearance. There are different types of cosmetic fillings currently available. The type used will depend on the location of the tooth and the amount of tooth structure that needs to be repaired. The most simple form of 'white filling' is technically called a Composite. It is made up of a composite quartz resin and usually contains some sort of light sensitive agent. These light cured composites are extremely cosmetic and most often bonded into place in one appointment. For this reason, they are often referred to as "bonding". They can be used in both the front of the mouth as well as in your back teeth. These materials come in a variety of shades so that they will match the color of your own teeth. Some of these composite materials have been specifically designed to actually withstand the incredible forces you can exert when chewing on your back teeth.

Dental amalgam, in widespread use for over 150 years, is one of the oldest materials used in oral health care. Its use extends beyond that of most drugs, and is predated in dentistry only by the use of gold. Dental amalgam is the end result of mixing approximately equal parts of elemental liquid mercury (43 to 54 percent) and an alloy powder (57 to 46 percent) composed of silver, tin, copper, and sometimes smaller amounts of zinc, palladium, or indium.

Because of a general decline of dental caries among school children and young adults, the use of dental amalgam began to decrease in the 1970s. There are also changes in patterns of dental caries, largely the result of topical and systematic fluoride, sealant use, improved oral hygiene practices and products and possibly dietary modifications. In 1990, over 200 million restorative procedures were provided in the United States; of these, dental amalgam accounted for roughly 96 million, a 38 percent reduction since 1979. This trend is expected to continue.

Keywords: oral health, teeth

Other products and services from Barr Haven Smiles


Barrhavensmiles | Gum Disease

You can avoid the needless loss of teeth to this disease by understanding what causes it, learning and practicing good oral health habits, and seeking regular professional care. It doesn't necessarily hurt and you may not even be aware that you have it until an advanced stage. Many people do not realize that periodontal disease is the major cause of tooth loss in adults.


Barrhavensmiles | Crowns

Crowns are used when simply filling a tooth would leave it weak and vulnerable to cracking, or when making cosmetic improvements to the teeth is the goal. Your dentist will place a temporary crown for the short time that it takes the lab to create the permanent crown. In these cases, a crown surrounds the tooth, permanently stabilizing and strengthening the tooth.


Barrhavensmiles | Bridges

Not only do they fill the unsightly spaces left by lost teeth, but they also help support the teeth adjacent to, and directly opposite, the missing teeth. Posterior Porcelain and Metal Bridge - A porcelain bridge is constructed like a porcelain crown: layers of porcelain are built-up on a gold or metal core. Over the next one to two weeks, the lab will create the permanent bridge on the models made from your dental impression.


Barrhavensmiles | Implants

The patient who seeks to be restored through conventional crown and bridge may not desire to have any of their natural healthy teeth utilized to fill the space of a missing tooth. Implants are more expensive to receive than are other traditional forms of conventional dentistry, but the rewards may far outweigh the financial costs.


Barrhavensmiles | Bonding

After the teeth are cleaned, a mildly acidic conditioning gel is applied to the tooth which makes it more receptive to the resin composite. If a tooth is worn or chipped, bonding can repair the tooth and protect it from further damage, while restoring its original appearance. Cosmetic bonding is a process in which a composite resin is layered upon the teeth and then sculpted to the desired shape.