Some patients have reactions to metal being used in their mouths, while others prefer mercury-free alternatives. In fact, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 10-20% of people have metal allergies or sensitivities. Nickel is the most common metal allergy, but sensitivities to beryllium and cobalt also cause concern. Each of these metals is used in dental restorations. The signs of a metal sensitivity reaction to a dental restoration can be as subtle as inflammation around the restoration, something that is easily mistaken for gum disease.
Fortunately, ceramic, composite, and plastic technologies have advanced enough that metal-free restorations are now not only possible, but have some advantages over metallic restorations.
To address these issues, Petaluma dentist Dr. Rick Lane provides metal-free dentistry options. Because of advances in bonding materials and technologies, Dr. Lane can provide you with this option using new high-strength ceramics that are not only appealing, but are also helpful if you have allergies to metal.
The bonded all-porcelain crown is a metal-free crown that covers the entire tooth, all the way to the gum line. It closely mimics that of a natural tooth more than any other option. This technique allows a cosmetic dentist to bond a crown to your tooth just like an enamel replacement, so that it appears as part of your natural tooth. Alternatively, a porcelain fused to metal crown has an opaque layer put over the metal to block out its color, making it impossible to achieve a translucent restoration that mimics the translucency of natural teeth. Therefore, the pure porcelain provides a translucency that results in a more beautiful, more natural-looking smile.
Newer high-strength ceramics such as zirconia and lithium disilicate have expanded our restorative options allowing Dr. Lane to also provide metal-free bridges. While not as esthetic as porcelain, they can be overlaid with porcelain to provide a highly esthetic result.
If you have a tooth that is broken down so much that a filling is not going to fix it, a porcelain onlay may be the solution. A porcelain onlay is a metal-free option that is similar to an all-porcelain crown and covers most or all of the chewing surface of the tooth, providing strength to prevent fracturing. The porcelain onlay option is esthetic and also helps to provide a natural-looking smile.
Dr. Rick Lane is a metal-free dentist in Petaluma, CA. If metal-free dentistry is a priority to you, call our office at (707) 762-6645 or visit our request an appointment page to request an appointment or to set up a 10-minute complimentary consultation to meet Dr. Lane and ask questions.