Amalgam fillings have been used in dentistry for over 150 years; they are strong and long lasting and cheaper then white fillings.
However they don’t match the colour of your teeth and corrode over time causing discolouration of the tooth. Amalgam fillings do not ‘stick’ to the tooth so sound tooth tissue has to be removed to ensure the amalgam filling stays in the tooth.
A crown can either be metal, metal and porcelain or fully ceramic. A crown may be placed over a tooth to improve its strength, size, shape or appearance.
Full Metal Crowns
These can be made from gold or non precious metal. Full gold crown are very strong and can last up to 40 years. Although they require the least amount of tooth preparation, the colour of the crown is the main drawback.
Metal Ceramic Crowns
These are made from a metal interior or base to which a porcelain crown is fused. This type of crown can be robust, long lasting and normally cheaper than a fully ceramic crown. Although they can be matched to the colour of your other teeth there can be cosmetic issues. They can appear duller than fully ceramic crowns and the metal base can appear as a grey/black line at the gum margin.
Fully Ceramic Crowns
These are strong, long lasting and extremely aesthetic crowns. There is no metal base so no dark or grey line at the gum margin.
To improve the cosmetic look of your smile have your metal-coloured fillings replaced with tooth-coloured or ‘white’ fillings.
White fillings 'stick' to your tooth which means less tooth structure needs to be removed compared to an amalgam (silver) filling. They are also not affected by the temperature changes in your mouth, therefore do not expand or contact the same way amalgam fillings do. As a result, teeth filled with amalgam can be more prone to fracture.
INLAYS & ONLAYS
Inlays and onlays can be used to restore a tooth instead of a traditional filling.
A dental inlay is similar to a filling and fits inside the tooth. A dental onlay is more extensive and fits over the cusp tips (edges) of the tooth. These can be made from gold or be fully ceramic.
Traditional Fixed Bridge
A dental bridge is a false tooth which is fused to one or two teeth on either side of the gap. The crowns holding the false tooth in place are cemented to the teeth on either side. This is known as a fixed bridge and cannot be taken out of your mouth like a removable denture.
Resin Bonded Bridge
This is normally used to replace front teeth. This is best used when the teeth on either side of the gap are healthy and don’t have large fillings. The false tooth is fused to a metal band which is cemented to the back of an adjacent tooth.
Minimally Invasive Dentistry
Air Abrasion-No drill!
Air abrasion works like a mini sand blaster. During air abrasion a fine stream of particles made of aluminium oxide is used to prepare the tooth and help remove decay. It is painless and requires no local anaesthetic. Unfortunately it is not suitable for large cavities.
Air abrasion is a simple, quick and effective alternative to the traditional drill. It can be used in many treatments, including preparing a cavity for a filling, preparing a tooth for bonding or sealants or removing or old composite (white) fillings.
Healozone is an advanced technology, which allows dentists to target early decay with ozone. Ozone is a natural destroyer of bacteria, so it kills bacteria in rotten teeth and helps to stop the decay. It is applied directly to the tooth with a small cup for 40-60seconds. It is often used in conjunction with air abrasion.
Ozone is one of the most effective oxidizing agents available. It not only kills bacteria, viruses and fungi quickly, but also disinfects wounds and stop bleeding.