A patient came to see us at Time Dental looking for a Cosmetic dentist. She had a number of old mercury amalgam fillings which she wanted replacing as white composite as they looked like she had holes in her teeth. She had not been to see a dentist in 18 months and was aware that she was overdue a dental health check.
On assessing her mouth she had early stages of gum disease also known as gingivits. Her gums were inflammed, red and she reported seeing blood after brushing her teeth. She also had a number of very old mercury fillings that had been in place since childhood days. Cracks on the larger mercury amalgam filled teeth were also evident and there were also gaps between the fillings and the teeth which indicated that they were failing.
Mercury amalgam fillings expand and contract over time. Combined with the pressure from chewing, this places an enormous amount of stress on the tooth. In time micro enamel cracks occur and the tooth or filling will then break. If the fracture is vertical and runs straight thorough the tooth it renders it unrestorable and will have to be removed.
Small to meduim sized mercury fillings are routinely replaced with white composite fillings. Tooth coloured fillings such as composite actually stick and bond to the tooth which helps give it strength. Less preparation is required to restore the tooth and expertly placed white composite fillings by a cosmetic dentist can make the tooth look natural.
When mercury fillings get to a large size they actually weaken the tooth which places it risk of breaking. To protect the weaker part of the tooth often an Onlay is advised. An onlay covers and protects the biting surface of the tooth. You maybe familiar with crowns which encapsulate the whole tooth. An onlay has edges which are higher up which makes it easier for you to keep clean; they are also bonded in place that give it strength.
Time Dental provides this service for patients in Alton as well as the surrounding area of Hampshire, Surrey, West sussex and Berkshire.
Time Dental- Private dental care at its best