Let's face it, very few of us have perfect teeth, free of decay and fillings. You can probably see a filling or two in your own mouth, which do just that -- "fill" a cavity, or hole, in your tooth left from the excavation of decayed tooth structure. In many cases, those fillings are made of metal material and can go bad, weaken the tooth, or get additional decay under or around it. In fact, 1.2 billion of these metal fillings will need to be replaced in the next 10 years.
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The tooth is prepared for the procedure by lightly etching the surface and applying a bonding liquid. Once the liquid sets, a plastic resin is applied and sculpted into the desired shape by the dentist. Once set, the resin is trimmed, smoothed and polished to a natural appearance. The bonding procedure can often be completed in a single office visit, and can improve the appearance of a tooth significantly. However, since the plastic resin used is not as strong as your natural tooth enamel, it is more likely to stain, chip or break than natural teeth.
We are a mercury-free practice. However, many people still have silver/mercury fillings in their mouths from years past. These fillings are not particularly pleasing to the eye, and we know that by unavoidable design, silver/mercury fillings ultimately result in a weaker tooth structure. Porcelain inlays and Tooth Colored Restorations (onlays) create fillings that are not only beautiful (or unnoticeable) but also add strength to weakened teeth. These restorations are esthetically pleasing and very strong thanks to new bonding technologies. Silver fillings have many drawbacks. The edges of the silver filling can wear down, become weak or break.