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BY: Dr Lorin Berland
Traditional silver fillings were first used in France in 1826. That was a long time ago, and silver fillings are not really even silver: They are actually mostly made of mercury, mixed with some silver, tin and copper too. This high mercury content has created concern for the health safety of silver fillings, and several countries have even banned their use.
Fortunately, the alternatives to these old-fashioned amalgams contain no toxic metals -- and they look better too. They also help to preserve and conserve your teeth, and as a result, strengthen them. Here, we compare the top two alternatives so you know what to go for:
Composite is a tooth-coloured, plastic-like material made to withstand the force put on teeth. Composite fillings look a lot like teeth.
Inlays and Onlays
An inlay is shaped to fit the cavity and cemented into place. First, an impression of your tooth is taken, and the inlay -- or onlay, which covers the cusp of your tooth -- is created in gold or tooth-coloured polymer ceramic. Then, it fits like a puzzle piece over your tooth, putting it back together in its original shape again.
Dr Lorin Berland has been honoured by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry for outstanding contributions to the art and science of cosmetic dentistry. This is her first article appearing inOral Care and Health Daily (Australia & New Zealand).
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