Many people have had dentists put silver-colored fillings in their teeth because they had cavities. These fillings are amalgam fillings, made of a mixture of mercury, silver, tin and copper; mercury is necessary to bind the other metals together. Amalgam is used to fill the space where the decay in the tooth was removed. Over time the amalgam corrodes and leaks. This blackens the silver, and often the tooth. This darkening is easily seen when the person opens his or her mouth, and causes many people embarrassment.
At Watertown Dentistry we can replace your amalgam fillings with composite fillings. Composite fillings are made of a porcelain-like material that is color-matched to the natural tooth. They are unnoticeable because they look like the tooth they fill. The bond formed between tooth and composite also provides support for the remaining tooth structure. Composite fillings look natural, and are both strong and stain-resistant.
Whether you are having an old amalgam filling replaced or a cavity filled for the first time with a composite filling, the same process is used to fill your cavity. Composite fillings are applied in layers after the tooth is properly prepared. The layers are hardened by a special light. Following application, your dentist will shape the composite to fit the tooth, then polish it. It is important that the filling is properly shaped. This requires your feedback as your bite is tested to get just the right shape. When your filling is properly shaped, your bite will remain the same and your tooth will function as it did originally. A layer of plastic can keep the color of the composite from changing when exposed to staining foods and drinks.
Composites can also be used for cosmetic purposes to improve your smile by changing the color of teeth or changing the shape of disfigured teeth.