Years ago, silver/mercury fillings were standard. There are many disadvantages to silver fillings. The silver filling edges can wear down, become weak or break. This means the tooth is not protected. Therefore, cavities can form. Over time, the metal in a silver filling expands, contracts, and can split. In addition, silver fillings contain 50 percent mercury. They can corrode, leak, and cause stains on your teeth and gums.
In addition to these issues, silver fillings are not attractive. They can also weaken your tooth structure over time. Fortunately, silver fillings can safely be replaced with tooth-colored restorations.
Porcelain inlays and tooth-colored restorations (called onlays) create fillings that are unnoticeable. New bonding technologies make these fillings very strong. In fact, they can strengthen weakened teeth.
Tooth-colored restorations have many benefits to you. Resin onlays are bonded to the teeth to create a tight, superior fit to the natural tooth. Even in instances where much of the tooth structure has been lost, tooth-colored restorations strengthen the tooth.
The resin used in these restorations contains fluoride. This can help prevent decay. The resin wears like natural teeth and does not require placement at the gum line. This is healthier for your gums.