Metals, including gold, silver, and nickel, have been used in dentistry for decades. However, such materials don’t blend well with the natural color of teeth. In some cases, they can even cause serious allergic reactions too.
Metal-free restorations are typically made of dental porcelain, a strong material that bears a close resemblance to natural tooth enamel. In fact, it even reflects light in a manner that is similar to real teeth, helping it to blend in seamlessly with the dentition around it.
There are a few different types of metal-free restorations:
- Crowns go on top of a tooth to restore its strength, structure, and function
- A bridge replaces one or more missing teeth
- An onlay fits over one or more of a tooth’s cusps (its high points) and fills in a decayed area
- An inlay is similar to an onlay, but it does not cover any of a tooth’s cusps
While metal restorations have a reputation of being more durable, they can actually cause more damage in some cases. They require more of the original tooth structure to be removed to make room. For this and a few other reasons listed below, we recommend restorations without metal.
- Natural-looking smile – These restorations are made of 100 percent tooth-colored materials, so they’re indistinguishable from your natural teeth.
- Long-lasting – With proper care, metal-free restorations can last ten years or even longer. They are also much more resistant to stains than natural enamel, so you won’t have to worry about discoloration.
- Hypoallergenic – Patients with allergies to metal don’t have to worry about having an adverse reaction to these restorations.