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High-Quality & Aesthetic Dental Fillings for Mt. Holly Patients

Dentistry, like all of health care, has been affected in every way by the advancements of science and technology. We have materials and techniques that were not even dreamed of a generation ago. These changes have given us a wide range of treatment options to consider. The best option is relative to each individual patient and to what that patient values. For example, for some, cost is the most important factor. In that case, the least expensive option that adequately solves the problem would be the best choice. For another patient, longevity is most important. In that case, the material that will last the longest would be chosen. Someone else might be most concerned with appearance. For that person, the most esthetic technique that is appropriate for their situation is the best alternative.

Sometimes, because of the nature of the problem, there might be only one good treatment plan. Most of the time, however, there are choices. Those choices fall into three basic categories for individual teeth.

Silver amalgam is the material that had been the mainstay of restorative dentistry for over 150 years because it was the best we had. It is rarely used anymore due to advances in dental materials. It starts out silver colored, and turns black as it ages. It also discolors the tooth over time, creating a grayish shadow to the tooth structure around the filling. A silver filling does nothing to strengthen the tooth that has been broken down by decay. It simply fills a hole, and can leave the tooth weakened and prone to breaking. This problem is directly related to the size of the filling, the bigger the filling, the weaker the tooth is likely to be.

Gold is also a material that has been used for hundreds of years. It has the unique characteristic of being inert in the mouth. Gold restorations can look as smooth and shiny after thirty years of service as they did on the day they were placed. Gold is, without question, the longest lasting material we can use. That is its claim to fame. The shortcomings to gold are probably obvious. The appearance, for many people, is a drawback. Gold restorations need to be cast from an impression, and therefore require two visits to complete. Additionally, because of the technique that requires two visits, and the cost of the material, gold restorations are the most expensive.

Tooth-colored material is the third option. This is the cutting edge of dentistry today. These materials have been evolving for thirty years. Today they are a predictable, reliable restorative material. From an esthetic standpoint, they are beautiful. They make a tooth look brand new. Because they are placed with a bonding technique, they add strength to a tooth that has been weakened from decay or fracture. Tooth colored restorations can be placed in one of two ways. If the cavity is not too large, they can be placed directly into the tooth in one visit. Otherwise, it is made from an impression and bonded in place at a second visit.  When this technique is used, the restoration is called an onlay.