Dental Fillings in Chicago
Dental composite resin fillings (commonly known as a white filling) are a tooth-colored alternative to amalgam (silver fillings).
Composite fillings provide good durability and resistance to fracture in small-to-mid size restorations that need to withstand moderate chewing pressure. At Manus Dental, composite fillings are placed as an alternative to metal (or silver) amalgams. Composites have a distinct advantage over amalgam in that composite is environmentally non-toxic because they do not contain mercury. They are also stronger because they are bonded (glued) into the tooth and do not require excessive removal of tooth to create retention as is needed for an amalgam restoration. Because composites are "bonded", the dentist can make a more conservative repair to the tooth. It is integrated into the tooth (matched for color and translucency) and is indistinguishable from the original tooth structure.
There are some disadvantages to composite fillings. These include the initial investment in that a composite restoration is more costly than a mercury filling. This is due to the fact that the composite material is more expensive and the restoration is more difficult and time-consuming to place. This initial higher investment if offset in the long run by the health benefits and reduced likelihood of restoring potentially fractured teeth.
Occasionally, when decay is too extensive, or an existing filling is very large, a composite restoration is not indicated. In this instance, a porcelain inlay or onlay is the treatment option of choice. These custom-made restorations, which require two visits, are an excellent alternative. The cost of indirect restorations is generally higher due to the number and length of visits required, and the additional cost of having the restoration made in a dental laboratory. Materials used to fabricate these restorations are porcelain (ceramic), porcelain fused to a metal-supporting structure, gold alloys and base metal alloys. Your dentist will discuss these materials to make a customized choice that fit your needs.