2 Restorative Dental Options To Replace Your Metal Fillings With

Amalgam fillings are strong, but they can affect your appearance when you smile or laugh. As a result, your confidence may suffer during social situations. But metal fillings aren't the only way to restore damaged teeth. Did you know it is possible to remove them and replace them with something that looks more natural?

If you'd like to replace your metal fillings with something less conspicuous, then one of the following two restorative dental treatments might be right for you.

1. Tooth-Colored Fillings (Composite)

Tooth-colored fillings work in much the same way as amalgam (metal) fillings do but with some clear differences. The most obvious difference is that composite fillings are tooth-colored. This means that they blend in with your natural tooth structure and with the surrounding teeth. And you can use your composite fillings immediately, unlike metal fillings, which take several hours to set.

Another major advantage of composite fillings is that your dentist can repair them if need be. That isn't possible with metal fillings, which have to be replaced completely once they fail. But if a white filling suffers damage, your dentist can repair it without having to remove it.

The one downside to composite fillings is that they take longer to place. This is because the area needs to be free of saliva before the dentist can place the filling, otherwise, the filling won't adhere to the tooth properly.

2. Onlays and Inlays

Like composite fillings, onlays and inlays are tooth-colored. Both onlays and inlays can be made of porcelain or composite, but porcelain is the much stronger option.

If your metal filling is confined to just one portion of your tooth, then an inlay is the best option. Inlays only cover the portion of a molar that lies between the cusps.  And if your metal filling covers much of the biting surface of your tooth, then an onlay is the most appropriate approach. Onlays cover the cusps of a tooth.

Although porcelain onlays and inlays are more expensive than composite fillings, they are also more durable and they will last much longer. Not only that, but porcelain looks more like your natural teeth than composite fillings do.

Are your metal fillings affecting your smile? Then it's time that you replaced them with something that looks natural Speak to a dentist, like Pacific Ave Dental/Allan L. Hablutzel, DDS, about these two treatments, and together, you can choose the one that works best for you.