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All About Metal-Free Tooth Restorations

All About Metal-Free Tooth Restorations

Metal dental restorations, like metal amalgam fillings, have been around for centuries, repairing damaged teeth and restoring smiles for thousands. In recent years, though, metal-free options have grown in popularity, helping people achieve beautiful, durable results without the potential side effects of metal restorations.

At Novi Family Dentistry in Novi, Michigan, Abir Faraj, DDS, offers both traditional metal restorations and metal-free options to help her patients enjoy optimal results and better oral health.

In this post, learn about metal-free alternatives that have revolutionized oral health and smile restoration.

Quick facts about metal-free tooth restorations

Metal-free dental restorations include fillings, crowns, inlays, onlays, and bridges made entirely of special resin composites or porcelain, a strong ceramic material that can be expertly shaped and tinted to blend beautifully with your smile. 

Metal fillings are probably the most familiar type of metal restoration. But traditionally, bridges and crowns have also used metal to provide a strong framework that supports the porcelain or composite visible portion.

Like their traditional metal counterparts, metal-free restorations are very versatile and can be used to:

Thanks to technological advances in design, fabrication, and materials, today’s metal-free restorations can be just as durable as their traditional metal counterparts. 

Benefits of metal-free restorations

For most patients, one of the most obvious benefits of metal-free restorations is their appearance. Metal restorations, like amalgam fillings, are extremely visible, and fillings tend to darken over time, making them even more obvious.

Even crowns and bridges use metal frameworks that can be visible when you smile, laugh, or yawn. Metal-free restorations contain only tooth-colored porcelain or composites tinted to match your natural tooth material. As a result, they’re completely invisible, so your smile looks naturally beautiful.

Better bonding

Porcelain and composites bond better with your teeth, avoiding seams that occur around the edges of metal fillings and other restoration. These seams can weaken over time, allowing cavities to form around or under your restoration.

Tooth preservation

Before any restoration is applied, Dr. Faraj needs to remove the decayed and damaged part of your tooth. Metal-free restorations typically allow her to preserve more of your healthy tooth material, preserving your tooth’s natural structure and integrity. 

Biocompatibility

Non-metal restorations are biocompatible, so there’s no risk of allergic reactions or increased tooth sensitivity. They also maintain the original contours of your teeth, avoiding uncomfortable changes in your bite pattern. 

Mercury-free

Metal amalgam fillings use a tiny amount of mercury to achieve their durability. While the American Dental Association says mercury poses no health risks, many patients prefer to eliminate potential risks entirely with metal-free restorations.

Applying a metal-free restoration

The application processes used in both metal and metal-free restorations are similar with a few variations. Crowns, inlays, and onlays require two visits: one to prepare your tooth and make an impression and one to fit your final restoration. 

Fillings are a little different. Metal fillings use materials that are mixed together and then tamped into the prepared tooth. Composite fillings are placed in layers, then carefully sculpted and shaped to match the original contours of your tooth. 

Both types of fillings are applied in one visit, and both can be cared for just like your natural teeth with regular brushing and flossing and twice-yearly dental checkups. While metal fillings tend to last longer, it’s important to remember that no restoration is designed to last forever.

Let us restore your beautiful smile

Metal-free restorations can be a good choice for most patients, repairing damage, strengthening your teeth, and giving you a beautiful result, but there are times when metal may be a better choice. Because she offers both metal and metal-free options, Dr. Faraj ensures you receive the best care for your needs.

To learn more about these and other restoration options, call 313-646-7903 or book an appointment online at Novi Family Dentistry today.

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