While metal-based restorations have a long history dentistry, a growing number of patients are concerned about possible metal sensitivities. The good news is that new ceramic technology makes it possible to have successful restorations, even in high-stress posterior areas of the mouth, without using metals.
With that in mind, Dr. Davis is a metal-free dentist, offering white composite fillings in place of the old silver and mercury amalgams and all-porcelain crowns and zirconia or eMax bridges in place of the old metal-based restorations.
Why Metal-Free Dentistry?
Researchers have estimated that about 17 percent of women and three percent of men have allergies to nickel, a metal that is commonly used in dentistry. And other metals like cobalt, chromium, and beryllium with dental applications cause sensitivity in some patients. By providing metal-free alternatives, we can help our patients avoid reactions without compromising on quality.
Metal-Free White Fillings
Traditional silver fillings are about half mercury, and more and more people are concerned this fact. For this reason, Dr. Davis offers white composite fillings. Their advantages go far beyond aesthetics. Yes, they blend perfectly with your tooth so no one can even tell you had a cavity, but they also make it possible to preserve more of the natural tooth structure. Silver and mercury fillings require that more of the tooth be drilled away. In addition, white composite fillings cause less sensitivity than the others do. And because they are bonded to the surface of the tooth, they make it stronger, where the old silver and mercury fillings expanded over time, leading to cracks and breaks.
Metal-Free Porcelain Crowns
In the past, in order to make crowns strong enough to hold up to daily use, layers of porcelain were baked onto a metal base. And while porcelain fused to metal crowns are still sometimes used, especially in the back teeth where the pressures of chewing are the greatest, advances in ceramic materials and bonding technology have made all-porcelain crowns available. The advantages all-porcelain crowns is immediately apparent when you look at the two photos above. The first one shows a patient with metal-based crowns, and the second photo shows the same patient after her crowns were replaced with all-porcelain crowns.
Metal-based crowns have to be opaque to cover up the darkness of the underlying metal, and they have to be thicker than normal teeth for the same reason. But all-porcelain crowns can mimic the translucency and lightness of natural teeth. And even though the gums normally cover the dark line at the base of porcelain fused to metal crowns, it usually recedes over time, revealing the black gumline we associate with the older crowns.
Zirconia and eMax Bridges
In addition to providing metal-free crowns, Dr. Davis also offers metal-free zirconia and eMax bridges that are much stronger than traditional bridges. Zirconia is an advanced ceramic that has applications in the aerospace and other high-tech industries. In fact, it has so much tensile strength that it has earned the nickname ceramic steel. Zirconia bridges are milled from a single piece of ceramic, and eMax bridges are prepared the same way, but then the surface is pared down, and traditional feldspathic porcelain is used to create the visible part of the fixture.
If you would like to find out how metal-free dentistry could enhance the beauty and strength of your smile without risking sensitivities or reactions, call us or click here to complete our online Request an Appointment form. You can also request a free consultation if you would like to meet briefly with Dr. Davis before you commit to a comprehensive exam. Just let us know, and we’ll help you find a time that fits your schedule.