Tooth Colored Fillings
At Pike Place Dental, we use composite or porcelain fillings. These fillings are tooth-colored, strong, dense and adhere well to a remaining healthy tooth. Composite fillings come in many shades and we strive to closely match the shade of the tooth for a non-toxic, nearly invisible tooth repair. These fillings can also be highly polished to resemble the shine of natural teeth.
Our office has consciously made the commitment to not use mercury-silver fillings. Mercury is a toxic substance, and we do not feel comfortable putting it in patients’ bodies. Additionally, when mercury-silver fillings are used, parts of the filling material goes into our suction systems and ultimately into the water supply. We care about our patients’ heath and the earth’s health too much to use these types of fillings at Pike Place Dental.
Sometimes, when teeth grow, the tooth enamel doesn’t fully fuse on the tooth, leaving a gap in the defensive enamel layer.Bacteria can grow in the grooves, which makes the softer, underlying tooth structure vulnerable to decay. In order to prevent decay, we flow a composite material called a sealant into these deep grooves. This sealant hardens under a fiber-optic light. Our sealants also have time-released fluoride that increases the tooth’s resistance to decay.
We place sealants in teeth that are vulnerable to decay, in both children and adults. Sealants can often prevent restorative dental procedures like fillings, crowns and root canals. Contact our office if you would like to learn more about sealants or to schedule an appointment.
Porcelain Bonded Crowns
Sometimes, decay and damage to teeth is so extensive that a filling will not restore it adequately. Previously, the only option available would be a full or partial-coverage gold or porcelain crown, resulting in the sacrifice of significant amounts of healthy tooth structure. (We would have had to remove healthy material on the sides of the tooth so that the crown would stay on.)
With porcelain-bonding technology, we can now make partial-coverage porcelain onlays that adhere both physically and chemically to a tooth. We do not have to remove nearly as much existing tooth, and studies show that the bond between the tooth and the onlay is so strong the tooth would actually break before the bond. We are also able to make these onlays look like perfect natural teeth. Many times, when a patient with onlays comes back for routine cleanings, the only way we are able to tell the difference between the onlay and an unrestored natural tooth, is by looking at the patient’s check up X-rays.
Cosmetic bonding is used when some portion of the tooth is chipped away, or a change in the color or shape of the teeth is desired. This is a less costly option than porcelain veneers, but the esthetics are not as good, and bonding does not last as long as porcelain veneers.