Cosmetic Resin Fillings
Tooth colored fillings custom matched to each patient’s existing tooth shade. The fillings can be molded to match the contours of an existing tooth or can be used to create a new shape. These restorations are the quickest and most economical method of providing a cosmetic change. These bonded restorations provide many years of smile enhancement. It may take many years, but resin fillings may darken slightly (at the junction of the tooth and filling) from foods and drinks. They can be bleached with whitening products, but not to a shade lighter than when first placed.
Traditional Silver Amalgam
These fillings have been used since the early 1800s. The FDA concluded that these fillings are safe in 2009. Some groups requested additional testing to ensure that this material causes only insignificant amounts of mercury accumulation in the human body. Many dental insurance companies reimburse for the cost of the silver fillings in posterior teeth, not resin fillings, but the choice is yours.
When a tooth has been restored many times with fillings and if the amount of remaining natural tooth structure becomes less than the amount of filling material, a crown is recommended to help strengthen the remaining tooth structure. A crown is also recommended if a large portion of the tooth has fractured, the tooth has a crack and is sensitive to chewing, the tooth had a root canal procedure, or if a cosmetic change is desired. The procedure takes 2 office visits. During the first appointment, the tooth is numbed and reshaped, a mold is made of the newly shaped tooth, and a temporary crown is fabricated and cemented in place to protect the tooth. The mold is sent to a dental laboratory for the fabrication of the permanent crown, which can be made with porcelain, zirconia, or gold. During the second appointment, the temporary crown is removed, the underlying tooth is cleaned, and the permanent crown is cemented.