Dentists have been using strong silver amalgam fillings to treat cavities in patients’ less visible back teeth for a hundred years. Despite the fact that they last a long time, they are completely unnatural in appearance. Since teeth are translucent, the dark color of the silver fillings will show through and give the teeth a darkened appearance.
Thirty years ago, modern-thinking dentists started using tooth colored composite (plastic) fillings on the back teeth. Sure these filling materials looked more natural, but they also presented some new problems.
The composite material was not as strong, so they would not last as long and it was more difficult to get them to seal at the edges of the filling. Also, where the filling would butt up against the adjacent tooth, it was difficult to get a tight contact, so food would impact between the teeth.
There are some exciting new developments in cosmetic fillings on the back teeth. The materials are stronger and the bonding agents will now give a better seal. We also have new techniques that allow us to keep the tooth fillings smaller and shaped to give a good contact between the teeth, which eliminates the food impaction problem!
These new techniques have enabled us to do fillings on the back teeth that result in a more natural smile. If you have older composite or strong silver amalgam fillings in your back teeth or suspect you have cavities that need treatment, make an appointment to discuss how we can give your smile a more natural look!