Unfortunately, few materials can match the strength and durability of dental amalgam and such, may need more frequent replacement. Common amalgam alternatives include:
A mixture of resins and fine particles designed to mimic the color of natural teeth. While not as strong as dental amalgam, composite fillings provide a pleasing aesthetic alternative. Sometimes, composite resins need to be cemented, or bonded to a tooth to allow for better adhesion.
Like composite resins, these materials are tooth-colored. Ionomers are made from a combination of various materials, including ground glass and acrylic resins. Ionomers are typically used for fillings near the gum line or tooth root, where biting pressure is not a factor. They are more fragile than dental amalgam, however, a small amount of fluoride is released by these compounds in order to facilitate strengthened enamel in the affected area.
This material is usually a combination of porcelain, glass powder and ceramic. Candidates for porcelain fillings are typically crowns, veneers, onlays and inlays. Unlike ionomers, porcelain fillings are more durable but can become fractured if exposed to prolonged biting pressures.
Cosmetic Contouring is performed when teeth become crooked, chipped, cracked, and even overlap as a result of many factors, including traumatic injury, bruxism (grinding) or even heredity.
Cosmetic contouring and reshaping procedures can remedy, and in many cases, greatly improve these conditions. For example, an uneven or crooked tooth can be gently reshaped by removing a small amount of enamel, to correct the alignment.
© 2014 Smile and Skin Aesthetics, Waltham, Brighton & Lexington, MA