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Mill Dam Dental Care

1301 First Colonial Road
Virginia Beach, VA 23454
(757) 463-1500



  

Mill Dam Dental Care Provided Services

Materials Used for Tooth Restoration


This information is provided to help you make better decisions about the use of materials as tooth restorations in your mouth. Many types of metals are used in dentistry for the replacement and rehabilitation of oral structures. Most of these metals are considered to be inert when placed in the body, while others have been criticized as potential toxins or allergens to some people. Plastic and ceramics are used commonly as tooth restoratives, and these have not had adverse biologic response. Which type of tooth restorations are best for you? The following information is provided to help you make that decision.


Restoration of Parts of Single Teeth ("fillings")
Silver amalgam (an alloy which contains silver, tin, copper, zinc, and about 50% mercury) has been used for about 160 years for the restoration of teeth. It has been a highly successful but unsightly material. Use of mercury in the body has been criticized since its inception, but amalgam use is still supported strongly by the American Dental Association and other groups worldwide. Some people in the overall population may be allergic to the elements in silver amalgam. However, you do have several options.

  • Silver Amalgam. Average longevity about 15 years, silver color, low initial cost, best in small-to-medium size restorations of posterior teeth.
  • Gold Inlays and Onlays. Average longevity 20 years to life, gold color, moderate-to-high initial cost, may be used in any size restoration in any location where metal in not displayed.
  • Resin Composite (plastic). Average longevity 10-15 years, tooth-colored, moderate cost, best used in small-to medium size restorations for any teeth, direct one - day placement.
  • Resin (plastic - lab processed). Average longevity (expected) 10-15 years, tooth-colored, moderate to high initial cost, best in medium-sized restorations for posterior teeth, indirect two-appointment placement.
  • Ceramic Indirect. Average longevity 10-15 years, tooth-colored, moderate to high initial cost, best in moderate sized restoration for any teeth, two-appointment placement.

Crowns or Fixed Prosthesis ("bridges")
Gold alloys have been used for many years for the construction of crowns or fixed bridges. They provide excellent, strong, long-lasting service. Three major types of alloy are now available:

  • High Noble Metal. Mostly gold, also palladium, silver, occasionally platinum, zinc, copper.
  • Noble Metal. Mostly palladium, also silver and gold.
  • Base Metal. Mostly nickel, also chrome or cobalt and other base metals.

Dr. Leidy routinely uses high noble metal. All of the above metals are used either as the sole constituent of a crown or as a base on which porcelain is fired (baked). Most people have no biological response to the base metals. The cost of noble and high noble metals is somewhat higher than base metals. Bridges (fixed prosthesis) are strongest when metal is used with or without porcelain on it. Materials used in dentistry to fabricate bridges include:

  • Metal Alone. (high-noble, noble, or base metal). Longevity 20 years to life, gold or silver color, moderate-to-high initial cost, may be used in any area where metal display is not objectionable.
  • Porcelain Fused to Metal. Longevity 10-20 years, tooth-colored, moderate-to-high initial cost, may be used in any area where extreme stress or grinding habits are not present.
  • Ceramic Non-Metal containing crowns (bridges constructed from ceramic alone are not advisable). Longevity 10-20 years, moderate-to-high initial cost, may be used in any area where extreme stress or grinding habits are not present.
  • Zirconium is a metal-free material which is incredibly strong, and is gaining popularity in dental restorations. It can be used as a crown foundation instead of metal, or an entire crown can be made of the material, where increased strength is required. Even for individuals with clenching or grinding habits, a tooth-colored restoration is now possible!

To request additional information, visit our Contact page.





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