To get your teeth back in working order after decay or injury, cosmetic dentists may use fillings or crowns. These restorative procedures can strengthen and protect damaged teeth. Fillings and crowns have gone through many transitions over time, with the goal of combining the best options of strength and appearance for patients. Innovations in restorative dentistry have transitioned over the years. Here is a short history on the basics of fillings and crowns.
Fillings and Crowns Made from Metal
In the past, dental fillings and crowns were almost always composed of metal. Fillings became an alloy of different metals called dental amalgam. There is controversy over whether these metal fillings are safe because of the metals used in the alloy. While some say the use of mercury in filling alloys is dangerous, others, like the American Dental Association, claim they are safe.
Crowns also experienced a similar evolution from metal to composite material. Initially 100% metal, crowns eventually saw plastic in their construction. That material proved to be too weak, so a porcelain and metal combination was used to crown teeth. This proved to be aesthetically displeasing since the metal created a dark area where the metal edge met the gumline. Recent developments take care of that problem with improved materials.
Restorations can now be made in a much more attractive cosmetic way through the use of ceramics. Tooth-colored fillings obviously have a more natural look compared to dark metal fillings, including the semi-translucency that reflects light similarly to tooth enamel. Additionally, many patients feel more comfortable knowing metals (even if mercury levels are in trace amounts) are absent from their mouths. On your front and most visible teeth, all porcelain, or other strong materials similar to natural teeth (such as zirconia) are becoming the industry standard that both dentists and patients are pleased with.
About Mai Dentistry
At Mai Dental Care we offer you confident, compassionate comprehensive dentistry services. Our goal is to help you achieve a bright, beautiful smile. For our patients who don’t speak English, our office is fluent in Spanish and Vietnamese. To schedule an appointment, call today at 972-530-0552.