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Aesthetic Restorations

METAL AND MERCURY-FREE DENTISTRY

At Scripps Center for Dental Care, our multispecialty team of La Jolla dentists provide only the most modern and aesthetically pleasing treatments for our patients. As part of this commitment, we place only composite-bonded fillings. These tooth-colored fillings are as strong and durable, and more aesthetically appealing, than their traditional counterparts. As a result, we have been able to eliminate mercury-based, amalgam fillings from our practice.

Not only are composite bonded fillings much more natural-looking than traditional mercury-based amalgam fillings, they are also mercury-free and bond to the natural tooth structure, allowing a seal. Amalgam fillings are a mixture of metals often times consisting of over 50% mercury, which is highly toxic. Furthermore, metal amalgam fillings are more sensitive to temperature changes than composite fillings and can expand and contract with time. As we expose the oral cavity to hot and cold temperatures with the food and drink we consume, this thermal cycling of the metal amalgam causes teeth to crack, creating the need for more extensive restoration.

Our cosmetic dentist uses composite fillings both to treat recent damage to teeth and to replace failing metal amalgam fillings. If you would like to learn more about how you might benefit from composite fillings, please contact our practice.

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Tooth-Colored Fillings

Composite fillings are considerably more aesthetically pleasing than metal amalgam in the fact that they are formulated to match the rest of the teeth in a patient’s mouth. The color of the filling material can be adjusted so that it doesn’t look unnaturally white or conspicuous in any way. Once placed, composite fillings closely resemble natural tooth matter and are often indistinguishable.

The tooth-colored material used in composite fillings actually bonds to the natural structure of the treated tooth, providing greater support and a stronger restoration. Furthermore, because composite fillings bond with the natural tooth, the composite fillings are sealed and produce little to no sensitivity.

FORM MEETS FUNCTION

If you currently have metal amalgam fillings in your mouth that you are concerned about, we invite you to be proactive. At Scripps Center for Dental Care, we can replace your failing mercury metal amalgam fillings for custom-made, wonderfully lifelike composite-bonded fillings, improving both the beauty and health of your mouth. With proper maintenance and regular dental appointments, your new fillings will last for years and potentially for a lifetime.

Our cosmetic dentists may also use composite fillings as part of a more comprehensive smile design plan, along with porcelain veneers, crowns, teeth whitening, and other treatments.

METAL-FREE PORCELAIN CROWNS

Dental crowns are protective restorations placed over a tooth to strengthen the enamel and shield the tooth from further damage. While their purpose is more restorative than cosmetic in nature, our porcelain ceramic crowns have the benefit of closely resembling the color, texture, and sheen of a natural tooth. Traditional porcelain crowns are made of a metal core that is outfitted with, or fused to, a porcelain shell. Still commonly used, this technique can cause some unwanted effects to occur, such as a less than natural-looking outcome, a visible metal or black seam along the crown edge and gumline, and other cosmetic concerns. At Scripps Center for Dental Care, we offer all-ceramic and metal-free crowns that are made entirely of porcelain. These durable and aesthetically appealing restorations are biocompatible, strong, long-lasting, and can achieve the same translucency and luster as natural enamel. With porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns, the metal interior makes it difficult or impossible to obtain the semi-transparent appearance of natural teeth. Furthermore, with all-ceramic crowns there is virtually no risk of mercury contamination. Your care, safety, and results are our highest priorities, and we make every effort to provide you with the latest and most effective restorative and cosmetic techniques available.

Benefits of Porcelain Crowns

Our porcelain ceramic crowns offer decayed or weakened teeth the strength, beauty, and support necessary to keep the tooth from worsening to the point of extraction. Common uses for a porcelain crown include: 

  • To restore a tooth that has deteriorated from decay or multiple cavities
  • To top a dental implant for a complete tooth replacement
  • To strengthen and protect a tooth after a root canal
  • To secure a dental bridge

Porcelain crowns can improve your ability to bite in addition to ensuring your treated tooth remains undetectable within your smile. The results often outlast the outcomes achieved with other restorations, such as dental bonding, for support that endures well into the future. 

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If you have additional questions about metal-free dentistry, we encourage you to reach out to our skilled and friendly team to learn more.