What are Ceramic Fillings?
Ceramic fillings – sometimes also known as porcelain/composite fillings – are designed to closely match the color of the tooth or teeth they are used on. This is unlike fillings made of silver, gold, or amalgamations of silver and other minerals. Instead of fillings comprised of metallic substances that stand out visually in the mouth, porcelain is the main material used for ceramic fillings. It can be mixed to closely match the exact color and hue of any tooth in a patient’s mouth.
The result – a tooth that has been cleaned and purged of a cavity and is sealed with tooth enamel-colored ceramic material – is much more visually pleasing and much less noticeable as a damaged tooth.
Ceramic fillings can be used in teeth that are under great chewing pressure such as molars and bicuspids, and now thanks to improved technologies such as “directed shrinkage” of the ceramic polymer material used to fill cavities, these ceramic fillings are reliable and are fast becoming the standard of care for forward-thinking dentists and cosmetic dentists across the USA and globe.
The Benefits of Ceramic Fillings
1) More Natural Appearance
The largest benefit of using ceramic fillings is the more natural appearance of the repaired tooth or teeth once the procedure has been completed. Many patients are so happy with the appearance of their treated teeth that they eventually have all their old fillings removed and replaced with ceramic fillings.
2) Durability & Longevity
Another strong advantage of ceramic porcelain fillings is that the material is very durable, rugged and capable of lasting longer than composite and amalgam fillings. On average, composite fillings tend to last 5 to 10 years, while amalgam fillings last from 10 to 15 years. Meanwhile, well-installed ceramic fillings can last up to 20 years or so in a patient’s mouth, which is certainly a blessing in numerous ways!
3) Less Toxic – Goodbye Mercury & Amalgam Fillings
Safety of materials is positive focus when discussing ceramic fillings. Particularly with amalgam fillings and their mixture of silver and other minerals, there’s always the possible allergic reaction to one of the metals being used.
In the past, mercury was an accepted material in-use within amalgam fillings and mercury has proven to be toxic as well as allergenic to some patients; additionally, mixing capsules which may contain mercury residue are extremely harmful to our environment. Ceramic fillings offer none of these potential dangers.
4) Improved Stain & Abrasion Resistance
Lastly, ceramic fillings are more resistant to stains and abrasions than conventional fillings, and do not run the risk of developing micro cracks and fissures as amalgam fillings do. These cracks and fissures in the fillings can lead to further decay within the sealed tooth where the cavity had existed.
RESIN vs CERAMIC FILLINGS
We exclusively use ceramic filling material versus resin due to its superior aesthetics, longevity, and bio-compatibility. Resin fillings are still far superior to amalgam fillings, but we use the most advanced filling material we can, which is ceramic.