Silver filling or amalgam replacement is the process of using resin or porcelain materials to replace old amalgams ( aka silver fillings or mercury fillings) together with any decayed tooth structure that may be under those fillings.
Resin fillings are recommended for small cavities only. For large amalgam replacement cases we strongly recommend ceramic inlays.
Ceramic fillings are traditionally done in a dental laboratory and require taking moulds and two visits. A new technology called CEREC has changed that.
Why do we replace amalgams?
These are some of the common reasons:
- Decayed areas under the old filling
- So the tooth looks better especially in the visible part of the smile
- Patient's concerns about safety of amalgams
It is very important that amalgam replacement is done for the right reasons and with minimum damage to what is left of the tooth. CEREC inlays provide a safe, minimally invasive method of replacing amalgams and strengthening the tooth in a single visit. Large resins are not recommended in our practice as they lack the durability of ceramics and they may cause leakage into the tooth.
Same Day Ceramic Fillings
CEREC is state of the art German technology that allows impressions to be taken digitally and the ceramic inlay to be made chair-side. This means a single appointment, less need to for local anesthetic and less need for temporary fillings.
CEREC can fabricate inlays, onlays, crowns and veneers and the restorations are amazingly accurate and “tooth-like”. The ceramic materials used are of very similar hardness to the tooth, so they will not cause the opposing teeth to wear away.
Ceramic inlays considerably outlast plastic fillings because they are stronger and more wear-resistant, especially important for the main chewing teeth.
Dr Amrein started using the CEREC technology in 2000 when she did a research project on CEREC 2.0 that was presented in an international dental research conference in Japan.
The technology has come a long way since then and Dr Amrein has used several versions of this technology over the last ten years. The newer versions of CEREC, are faster and more accurate than before and can yield amazing results.
The ceramics used in CEREC technology are all highly aesthetic and experience shows they have a unique capacity to blend in with surrounding structures. At Adelaide Cosmetic Dentistry, we use CEREC for front tooth veneers and crowns (when indicated), with beautiful natural results.
So how does the procedure work? It’s simple