Restorative DentistryYour Oral Health Renewed
Fillings (Composite and Amalgam)
Composite resins, or tooth-colored fillings, provide good durability and resistance to fracture in small- to mid-size fillings that need to withstand moderate pressure from the constant stress of chewing. They can be used on either front or back teeth. They are a good choice for people who prefer that their fillings look more natural.
Advantages of composites:
- Aesthetics: The main advantage of a direct dental composite over traditional materials such as amalgam is improved aesthetics. Composites can be in a wide range of tooth colors allowing near invisible restoration of teeth. Composite fillings can be closely matched to the color of existing teeth.
- Bonding to tooth structure: Composite fillings micro-mechanically bond to tooth structure. This strengthens the tooth’s structure and restores its original physical integrity. The discovery of acid etching (producing enamel irregularities ranging from 5-30 micrometers in depth) of teeth to allow a micro-mechanical bond to the tooth allows good adhesion of the restoration to the tooth. Very high bond strengths to tooth structure, both enamel and dentin, can be achieved with the current generation of dentin bonding agents.
Dental amalgam is a dental filling material used to fill cavities caused by tooth decay. It has been used for more than 150 years in hundreds of millions of patients around the world.
Dental amalgam is a mixture of metals, consisting of liquid (elemental) mercury and a powdered alloy composed of silver, tin, and copper. Approximately 50% of dental amalgam is elemental mercury by weight. The chemical properties of elemental mercury allow it to react with and bind together the silver/copper/tin alloy particles to form an amalgam.
Dental amalgam fillings are also known as “silver fillings” because of their silver-like appearance. Despite the name, “silver fillings” do contain elemental mercury.
When placing dental amalgam, the dentist first drills the tooth to remove the decay and then shapes the tooth cavity for placement of the amalgam filling. Next, under appropriate safety conditions, the dentist mixes the powdered alloy with the liquid mercury to form an amalgam putty. This softened amalgam putty is placed and shaped in the prepared cavity, where it rapidly hardens into a solid filling.
The removal of a single tooth can lead to problems related to your chewing ability, problems with your jaw joint, and shifting teeth, which can have a major impact on your dental health.
To avoid these complications, in most cases, our dentists will discuss alternatives to extractions as well replacement of the extracted tooth.
Crowns and Bridges
A bridge is a dental device that fills a space where a tooth previously occupied. Compared to the old style bridges, these works of art are exceptionally well-fitting and look very natural.
A bridge may be necessary to:
- Prevent shifting of the teeth that can lead to bite problems (occlusion) and/or jaw problems and resultant periodontal disease.
- Safeguard the integrity of existing teeth and help maintain a healthy, vibrant smile.
To learn more about crowns or bridges, we invite you to contact our Roseburg, OR dental practice today at (541) 378-6694.