Composite fillings are resin material which is tooth-colored. They are useful in small to moderate-sized restorations and are used on anterior (front) teeth, and are preferred for use on posterior (back) teeth in this practice for both durability and esthetic reasons. The area where the composite filling is to be placed must be kept dry during the filling procedure. Composite fillings usually take longer to place than an amalgam filling.
Dental amalgam is an alloy containing silver, tin, copper, and elemental mercury. Because of their mercury content, questions have been raised regarding the safety of amalgam fillings. The mercury in these fillings combines with the other metals, making it stable and safe for use in fillings. The National Institute of Health, the U.S. Public Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the FDA and the the World Health Organization have all been satisfied that dental amalgam is safe and reliable. However, if you still have concerns about this filling material, Dr. Jonathan Smith would be happy to place a composite filling whenever possible.
Crowns are indicated when a tooth has been badly fractured or is compromised by decay or old restorations that are breaking down. A crown is also recommended on a posterior tooth following root canal treatment, since the tooth becomes brittle over time once such treatment is done. The tooth is shaped to provide a strong, stable platform on which the permanent crown will rest, and any decay is removed. Impressions are taken and sent to our laboratory, a temporary crown is made in our office to protect the tooth, and approximately 2 weeks later you will return to have the permanent crown cemented on.