Back in the “olden days”, the only viable solution for a cavity was a metal filling. These are traditionally black or silver in colour and otherwise known as dental amalgam. This liquid mercury and metal alloy filling has been around since 1904. Amalgam was originally used and favoured for its intense strength, durability and easy application. However, many people have expressed concerns regarding amalgam fillings due to the presence of mercury in their composition, despite there being no adverse health risks. Due to this (and aesthetic issues), many people have chosen to remove old fillings and have them replaced with white fillings instead, often seen as the more attractive and natural looking alternative.

Common Reasons to Replace Old FillingsLost filling

  • Signs of decay or soreness in the tooth or beneath the filling.
  • There is a “void” between the filling and the tooth (usually caused by pressure such as grinding of teeth)
  • The filling can no longer be supported due to a crack in the body of the tooth.
  • You have concerns about the mercury in the filling.
  • You have concerns over aesthetics and simply desire a more natural looking filling.

What are your Options?

Filling materials include the most common amalgam filling, composite resin (white filling), porcelain, gold inlays or even CEREC for more damaged teeth.

So, which option is right for you?

White Fillings (Porcelain or Composite)

White fillings are matched to the original colour of the tooth. Instead of having noticeable silver or black fillings that often show when you laugh and smile, white fillings are virtually undetectable in the mouth (at least by the naked eye). They repair the tooth to its prior condition, providing patients with beautiful and natural looking results.

How does it Work?

The composite material comes in the form of a soft putty liquid which, during the curing process, is hardened with a blue light.

Pros and Cons of Composite Fillings filling1

On the plus side…

  • White fillings are incredibly strong.
  • They are long lasting.
  • They have a great authentic appearance.

On the down side…

  • It takes great care to place white fillings.
  • They might discolour with age.

CEREC Dentistry

For the more serious cases, CEREC (Ceramic REConstruction) is the best option. You will be met with a chair-side 3D Acquisition Centre and a CAD-CAM CEREC Milling Unit. CEREC dentistry is used to create aesthetic and durable ceramic or porcelain restorations.

How Does It Work?

During a single visit, you can have your porcelain restoration created and modelled thanks to our CEREC 3D Scanner and milling machine. The process is quite simple and can provide dental crowns, bridges or inlays/overlays. However, if the tooth is very damaged, it may take one than more visit to complete the procedure.

Pros and Cons of CEREC Dental RestorationsCEREC Dentistry

On the Bright Side…

  • CEREC restorations look just like a real tooth. Visually appealing and quite beautiful.
  • They fit perfectly into the tooth/teeth.
  • The best option for very damaged teeth.

On the Other Hand…

  • May take two visits to complete.
  • A more expensive option, a larger initial investment.

When it comes to removing old fillings and replacing them with new ones, it is best to be aware of all the options available to you.

Give Docklands Dental a call today: +353 (0)1 636 0192


Published On: March 1st, 2016 / Categories: General /

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