Non-Mercury Dental Fillings in Asheville

White Teeth Deserve White Repairs!

John Highsmith, DDS in Clyde, NC

Cavities are nothing to look forward to. We really understand – especially if you discover that you have adult tooth decay! Seriously? Aren’t cavities for kids? You watch your diet, keep up with your dental hygiene, and see the dentist regularly. How can it be? And doesn’t having a cavity mean that you have to get an ugly, dark tooth filling? Dr. Highsmith has not placed a silver mercury filling in over three decades!

Not at all. Though kids do tend to get cavities, adults can experience them too. But that absolutely doesn’t mean you are stuck with the dark and unattractive fillings you had as a child. Your Clyde and Asheville cosmetic dentists, Dr. John Highsmith and Dr. Sylvia Jernigan, believe that teeth should not only be beautiful, they should be healthy too. And that means using only the most biocompatible and smile-friendly materials available. Even for something as basic as a cavity. We mean it when we say, “Our Asheville dental patients deserve the best!”

While some dentists still place silver-mercury amalgam fillings, Drs. Highsmith and Jernigan don’t use that material. Dr. Highsmith and Dr. Jernigan have not placed an amalgam filling in over twenty-five years! We believe there are better materials to use for repairing teeth.
A composite resin is a tooth-colored mixture of acrylic resin and ceramic filler particles. Introduced in the 1960s, dental composites were confined to the front teeth because they were not strong enough to withstand the pressure and wear generated by the back teeth. Since then, composites have been significantly improved and can be successfully placed for restorations in the back teeth as well. Composites are not only used for restoring decay but are also used for cosmetic improvements, changing the color of the teeth or reshaping disfigured teeth.

John Highsmith, DDS

Following preparation, your Asheville dentist places the composite tooth filling or repair in layers, using a light specialized to harden each layer while shaping and sculpting your tooth to its ideal shape. Dr. Highsmith and Dr. Jernigan then polishes the composite so it looks completely natural and beautiful.
How about the beauty of your smile! That’s right, composite fillings in Clyde are so attractive because Drs. Highsmith and Jernigan can blend shades to create a color nearly identical to that of your actual tooth. What’s more, composites bond to your tooth to support the remaining tooth structure. This prevents shifting, breakage, and sensitivity that is so often present with metal fillings.
Other than being a dark filling versus a white one (most people don’t want black teeth), the biggest difference is that the composite bonds to the tooth and the amalgam does not. Whenever an amalgam is placed into a tooth, the tooth is weakened. After a time, the part of the tooth that is holding the amalgam starts to crack and break. That means that they allow bacteria to enter where you least need it! The vast majority of amalgam fillings we remove have decay underneath, as well as fracture lines in the dentin of the tooth. Who wants that? We certainly don’t want it for our Clyde and Asheville dental patients! In fact, we haven’t placed any amalgams in this practice for over twenty-five years. We would rather make teeth stronger than weaker.
Not always. The material is best used in small cavities, especially those that do not go in between the teeth. The material is not as strong as gold or porcelain, so it does not hold up well when it replaces a large portion of the tooth. If you have major damage resulting from a failed amalgam filling or from other dental trauma or infection, we might recommend that you choose a porcelain or gold restoration.
Don’t dread your next checkup for fear of a cavity. We have the perfect, beautiful solution with tooth-colored, amalgam fillings in Asheville!