Dentistry has come a long way over the last 25 years. While metal fillings were once quite commonly used, modern dentists tend to avoid them in favor of metal-free fillings. Dr. Fiss has not used metal fillings since 1990 and favors metal-free fillings for their distinct advantages. Metal-free fillings provide many benefits including aesthetic appeal, improved safety and health, and versatility.
The Problems With Metal Fillings
Before metal-free fillings were developed, amalgam was used to fill cavities. This alloy of silver and mercury is hard and durable, but it poses several problems. First, it looks nothing like teeth and can negatively affect the appearance of your smile. What’s even more detrimental is that, although never proven, many people feel it can be harmful to your teeth and your health. As they age, these fillings absorb moisture and expand, cracking the vital tooth structure. Furthermore, amalgam does not adhere to enamel, so large preparations with deep undercuts are needed to retain the material in the tooth, which can cause additional chipping and fracturing. Lastly, metal fillings are susceptible to temperature changes and can weaken the teeth, causing bacterial infections and eventual tooth decay.
Metal-free fillings, on the other hand, present several distinct benefits in contrast to the problems caused by metal fillings. They offer aesthetic improvements, improved safety and health for the teeth and the body, and versatility in use and application.
Composite fillings are made from resin and contain either plastic or glass. They are made to match the color of the teeth, which means that they blend well with the natural teeth. Unlike amalgam fillings, composite fillings are nearly indistinguishable and offer immense aesthetic appeal. Porcelain, often used in cosmetic dentistry and corrective dentistry, has drastically improved in quality over time. Porcelain veneers now look very natural.
Safety and Health
Additionally, metal-free fillings are safer and better for patient health. These fillings are inserted with an accompanying adhesive that binds them to the natural structure of the tooth. It is unnecessary to compromise a significant amount of the natural tooth before placement of metal-free fillings, which means that the remaining healthy portion of the tooth is not weakened in the process. The lack of metal eliminates the problems associated with toxicity and healthy body functions.
Metal-free fillings are also incredibly durable and versatile. They offer the same hardness and wear resistance of metal fillings but also provide improved cosmetic appeal. These fillings can even be used to fix chips and cracks in your teeth. Dr. Fiss uses the IPS Empress System for inlays/onlays, crowns, veneers, and bridges using high-quality glass-ceramic material. IPS Empress offers naturally pleasing aesthetic results, biocompatibility, improved functionality, high durability, and absolutely no metal.
If you are interested in replacing your current fillings or learning more about the benefits of metal-free dentistry, schedule your consultation with Dr. Benjamin Fiss today. Book your appointment by calling our office at 312.951-5230, or fill out our online contact form at your convenience.