Restorative Fillings and Crowns

What are Dental Fillings and the types? 

Amalgam Fillings

Amalgam fillings are often commonly known as “silver fillings.” This type of filling has been around since 1895. Dental amalgam is a mixture of mercury, silver, tin and copper. Mercury, which makes up about 50% of the compound, binds the metals together to provide a strong, durable filling. When combined with the other metals, the mercury in fillings forms a safe, stable compound.

What are resin composite fillings?

Resin composite fillings are made of a plastic and ceramic compound. Because resin has the appearance of natural teeth, these fillings blend right in with the rest of the teeth. They’re also known as “white fillings” or “tooth-colored fillings.”

What is a Dental Crown?

A dental crown is a tooth-shaped covering cemented to the tooth for the

purpose of restoring the tooth to its original function and shape. Crowns

are used in pediatric dentistry for many different  reasons. They are

recommended by dentists when it is necessary to restore a primary (baby)

tooth found to be extensively decayed (has a large cavity), repair a tooth

that was fractured due to trauma, or to help a primary tooth which has not developed correctly. ‘Extensive decay’ refers to a tooth which is severely decayed with large cavities found on two or more surfaces. Severely fractured or decayed teeth are beyond the scope of repair by a filling because of the risk of the filling falling out, breaking, or wearing out resulting in the necessity of future dental procedures. Crowns are much more durable than fillings, and usually last until the baby tooth falls out around age 12.

Stainless Steel Crowns in Pediatric Dentistry

There are several types of crowns available for the repair and restoration of primary teeth. The four main types are pre-formed stainless steel crowns, veneered steel crowns, “Strip” or acid-etched resin crowns, and zirconia crowns. Each type of crown has advantages and disadvantages, and some are more useful in some parts of the mouth than others. Our dentists use stainless steel crowns for our pediatric patients. They are:

  • By far the most commonly used crowns in pediatric dentistry—they have been used in dentistry for over 50 years and are very reliable.

  • Made as metal shells of varying sizes, and can be customized to fit any tooth

  • Perfect for molars (teeth towards the back of the mouth), as they are durable, strong, and resistant to moisture

  • Useful when there is decay between the teeth

  • Easy to place and generally require only one visit to the dentist

  • Cost-effective—stainless steel crowns are the least expensive crowns available.

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