Metal-free dentistry is becoming increasingly popular, and if you've been told you need a filling, there are a variety of great options out there that don't involve metal. Additionally, larger restorations like crowns can also now be created without the use of metal. Find out more about how you can improve your smile without the metal mouth.
What's the Problem with Metal?
Metal has been used to create dental fillings and restorations for a long time, so you may be wondering what the sudden concern about these options is all about. Well, research has determined that metal fillings can actually be tied to tooth fractures.
Over time, a metal filling can expand and contract in response to the temperature of the foods you eat and the beverages that you drink. This expansion and contraction can eventually result in a fracture to the tooth. Fortunately, metal-free options have helped to relieve this problem, as they are better able to resist temperature extremes and are bonded to the teeth for additional fracture-preventing strength.
Porcelain and Composite Fillings
Filings made out of porcelain and composite materials are increasingly being chosen over the traditional metal varieties, and there are a numerous benefits to these options. These fillings will support the natural structure of the teeth, preserving the lifespan of the tooth and protecting it from harmful bacteria. Since composite and porcelain will bond firmly to your teeth, you can rest assured that these filings are protecting your oral health.
These fillings are also less noticeable than traditional metal fillings. They closely match your natural tooth color and can strengthen the tooth. Additionally, porcelain and composite fillings tend to be quick procedures that can sometimes be done chair-side without the use of a laboratory, and the composite will be hardened using a curing light once the filling has been put into place.
When the teeth develop fractures or have gone through significant repairs due to decay, they will lose strength. This could affect your tooth's ability to function properly. A porcelain crown can actually strengthen the tooth while preserving the portions that are left over and healthy, possibly preventing an extraction of the tooth. Porcelain crowns can restore your damaged teeth to their original structure, function, and appearance, and once they have been completed, you'll be able to return to enjoying all of your favorite foods.
CEREC Dental Crowns
CEREC is a new type of technology that creates all-ceramic, metal-free dental crowns all within your dental office. When this technology is available, the process of getting your crown put in will be much faster than traditional options, as your dentist won't need to use a lab to create the restoration. Additionally, you won't need to wear a temporary crown when using CEREC restorations, because the crown can be designed, manufactured, and placed in the same dental visit.
Zirconia crowns are another metal-free dentistry option. These are created from zirconium, and they are long-lasting, robust, and look just like the natural teeth. You won't need to have a major portion of your tooth structure removed to have them put into place, and they are both adjustable and biocompatible. These crowns are less likely to chip and are stronger than their porcelain counterparts.
If you have cosmetic defects in your smile, porcelain veneers are a great metal-free option to correct these problems. This can include teeth that have been damaged after previous dental work, worn or chipped teeth, teeth that have been severely stained, or discolored fillings. Patients that have crooked teeth or unsightly gaps within the front teeth could also consider porcelain veneers to improve their smile instead of going with metal braces.
If you want more information about how metal-free dentistry could improve your smile, please contact us to set up a consultation.