Materials for restorations
When your teeth need restoration, we can choose from several different materials, including—
- silver amalgam.
- composite resin.
Since each tooth and restoration is unique, we’ll talk with you about your treatment goals and recommend the best material for your specific situation.
Amalgam is a very common material for fillings. It’s an alloy of mercury, silver, copper, tin, and sometimes zinc. It’s strong, durable, and quickly placed. However, more tooth structure must be removed to shape the tooth, so it can hold the amalgam securely in place. In addition, the metal is not natural looking.
Composite resin, also commonly used for fillings, is a mixture of plastic resin and microscopic particles. Composite is about as strong as amalgam, and it may be as durable in some circumstances. It’s bonded to the tooth, so it requires us to remove only a minimum of tooth structure. It’s gentle on the opposing teeth when you chew, and we can match it to the color of your teeth. Composite resin sometimes can be used to create onlays and crowns as well.
Crowns and onlays can also be made of gold. It’s extremely strong and durable, and it creates a very accurate fit. Gold is about as hard as tooth enamel, so it’s gentle on opposing teeth, but it doesn’t have a natural look.
Porcelain is also used for crowns and onlays. It’s a strong, tooth-colored material that’s harder than tooth enamel, but it has a life-like translucence that makes it naturally beautiful.
In cases where both strength and a natural look are required, we may place a crown made from porcelain fused to metal. Because of the restoration’s metal core, the outer porcelain may not be as translucent, but it can be colored to match your natural teeth.