Metal is a strong substance that is versatile and effective in many uses. Dentistry has used many types of metal to restore damaged teeth to health and function. However, metal proves to be an unsuitable material for dental restorations in many situations. When metal restorations cause problems, it might be time to replace them with nonmetal restorations.

Here are some of the common situations where our River Edge dentists can help you get nonmetal restorations that will suit you better.

Unhappy with Appearance

young adult man looking int he mirror and inspecting his teeth and gumsProbably the most common complaint our River Edge dentists hear about metal restorations is that they’re unattractive. Metal restorations don’t look like natural teeth, so they’re an advertisement for poor dental health and the need for restorations.

Metal amalgam fillings often lead to complaints about their appearance. When placed, metal amalgam fillings are silver. However, they can rust in the mouth, turning black. When they do, they look as bad as or worse than the gaping holes in teeth that they are supposed to fill. It’s not just the fillings that look black, either. A rusted filling can turn your whole tooth black or gray in a way that won’t respond to teeth bleaching.

People also complain about porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) crowns. These crowns start off looking attractive because of the porcelain coating that looks like a natural tooth. However, the porcelain can flake off these teeth, exposing the metallic understructure of the crown. Other times, receding gums can expose the metallic edge of the crown.

Gold crowns still enjoy a measure of popularity. Not only do gold crowns have great performance, but they are also less likely to cause some of the other negative effects we discuss in this blog. Plus, some people think that gold crowns have a certain attractiveness to them. Even so, many people dislike the appearance of their gold crowns and want to replace them with cosmetic restorations that look more like natural teeth.

In these situations, a River Edge dentist can remove metal restorations and replace them with tooth-colored fillings or crowns.

Temperature Sensitivity

Temperature sensitivity is another complaint that makes people want to get rid of metal restorations. Metal is a more conductive material than ceramic or tooth enamel. While other materials might insulate your teeth against temperature changes, metal restorations can actually make temperature sensitivity worse.

Metal-related temperature sensitivity is often worst with metal amalgam fillings. Metal amalgam fillings can conduct heat out of the tooth when you drink a cold beverage or eat cold foods. When a filling is sunk deep into a tooth, this can irritate the living part of the tooth, causing pain.

Fillings can also make your teeth sensitive to heat. Heat makes metal amalgam expand, and it expands faster than your natural tooth material. This causes the filling to put pressure on the living part of the tooth. This pressure can be painful.

Ceramic inlays or onlays often work well to eliminate sensitivity from large metal fillings.

Cracks in Teeth

Temperature expansion of metal amalgam fillings might not just lead to pain. When metal amalgam fillings expand, they can put so much pressure on the natural tooth that the enamel can crack. These cracks might be small at first, but they can lead to teeth actually breaking off.

In some cases, your River Edge dentist might recommend a composite tooth-colored filling to stop the development of cracks. Other times, they might recommend a ceramic inlay or onlay to repair some of the cracking and support the tooth. When cracking is bad, a dental crown might help support the damaged tooth.

In extreme cases, cracking can reach the tooth root, and then your River Edge dentist might recommend extracting the damaged tooth.

Metallic Taste in Mouth

Metal doesn’t stay in your fillings and crowns. Some of the metal dissolves in your saliva, which can lead some people to experience a persistent, unpleasant metallic taste in the mouth.

Other times, the metallic taste might occur in situations where more metal releases into the mouth. Eating acidic foods or getting dehydrated can make the mouth more acidic, leading to more metal release. Chewing abrasive foods can scrape metal off restorations, too.

If you have a persistent or intermittent metallic taste that you find unpleasant, it might be related to metal restorations and might improve if your River Edge dentist replaces them.

Tingling or Shock in Mouth

Metal in your mouth can create electric currents, called galvanic currents. Some people experience these currents as a tingling sensation or as a sudden shock.

Persistent tingling sensations are most common if you have two different metals in your mouth, such as metal fillings and a metal crown or metal braces. You might also experience a sudden shock when different metals touch, such as when you’re chewing or if you accidentally touch a tooth with a fork or spoon.

Your River Edge dentist might be able to eliminate these currents by replacing metal restorations with ceramic and/or composite ones.

Replace Metal Fillings and Crowns in River Edge

Are you unhappy with your old metal fillings and crowns? If you want to learn how you might benefit from replacing them, let a dentist at River Edge Dental help.

Please call (201) 343-4044 or use our online form to email us to schedule an appointment at our office just off Rte 4 on Kinerkamack Rd.