Fillings and Sealants

Dental technology has made advances in many areas over the past decades. With the advancement in technology, there are more options available concerning fillings and sealants. You may find yourself in the position of needing a filling because of tooth decay, injury or tooth wear. There are two main types of fillings available, the traditional silver/mercury fillings and tooth colored fillings. Each have advantages and disadvantages. Our staff at South Shore Dentistry can help you determine which would be best for your situation.

Disadvantages of Silver Fillings

Many people probably still have silver/mercury fillings from years past when this was the standard in dentistry. These fillings are not very aesthetically pleasing and they ultimately result in a weaker tooth structure. Porcelain inlays and tooth colored fillings are both beautiful and add strength back to weakened teeth.

Silver fillings can wear down over time and the edges become weak or break. This results in the teeth not being protected and cavities can form over time. Silver fillings also contain about 50 percent mercury which can corrode and leak into your teeth, staining them and your gums.

Advantages of Tooth-Colored Fillings

Tooth-colored restorations not only give you an advantage in matching your natural teeth, but resin onlays bond to the teeth and create a superior fit with your natural tooth. This will keep the tooth protected, intact, and strengthen it. Tooth-colored restorations contain fluoride which can help prevent decay.

Replace Your Silver Fillings with Tooth-Colored Fillings

In as few as two appointments, you can change your silver fillings to tooth-colored fillings that beautifully match your teeth. We will remove the old filling along with any decay. Then, we’ll make an impression of your tooth and send it to the lab. A temporary onlay will be placed on the tooth. At your second appointment the onlay will be removed and a conditioning gel will be placed over your tooth to prepare it for your final restoration. Bonding cement is placed on the tooth and then we use a high intensity light to bond the resin to the tooth. Finally, we polish the tooth. You are left with a natural looking restoration!

Amalgam Fillings vs Resin-Based Composites

Dental amalgam has been used for over 150 years. It is a mixture of mercury and at least one other metal. Amalgam offers an advantage over other restorative materials because it has greater longevity than other materials such as composite. On average, most amalgam restorations last 10-12 years whereas resin-based composites last half that time.

Both amalgam and composite materials are considered safe and effective for tooth restoration. Talk to Dr. Larry Burt about which treatment would be best for your individual situation. Give us a call today to find out more.


Sealants are like armor or a protective coating placed on the teeth. It is used to create a barrier for your teeth from the cavity-producing bacteria found in the mouth. The sealant is made of plastic and helpful in those hard to reach places. Sealants are not meant to be the only protection against tooth decay. Brushing, flossing and regular professional cleanings are still necessary and as important as before. Usually sealants are used on children that are still learning to brush and floss effectively but can also be used on adults. If you think sealants will help you, call our office and set up an appointment. The staff at South Shore Dentistry is ready to help find the best way to assist you in your great dental health mission.

If it is decided that sealants are needed, an appointment will be made to apply them. The first step is to cause the surface of the teeth to become rough so the sealant has something to stick to. The sealant will be painted onto the teeth creating the protective coating. This coating is to help in the fight against tooth decay. Just because you have sealants doesn’t mean you can now skip brushing and flossing, it is still as important. Sealants are just another addition to your regular, daily oral habits of brushing and flossing.