DR. MARK SWEENEY: I did my last silver filling, metal amalgam filling in 1995 and it opened up a whole new era in dentistry for me to be able to restore a tooth so that when I was done, it looked just like a regular tooth again. I don’t know how I lived with myself all those years of putting big metal fillings. I had them in my own mouth for 25 years, but what we understand now although that was a great material in the ‘60s and ‘70s, its been replaced by a much more biologically compatible material.
The new tooth colored fillings are chemically bonded into place rather than you having to drill a hole bigger down inside the tooth than what it is on the outside to hold the filling in which is the way the old metal fillings did. These new materials do not expand and contract with heat and cold like the old silver fillings did. So they no longer do we have to worry about cracking a tooth by just by putting a large filling into the tooth. But the main benefit is that they allow you to have dentistry done and yet no one knows. It looks just like a real tooth if it’s done properly.