Metal vs Tooth-Colored Fillings

These days, filling a cavity doesn’t require the loss of a tooth or the removal of healthy enamel. Technological advances in dentistry and recent innovations in filling materials have made restoring the structural integrity of tooth easier and safer. Dr. David Redford, our Denver dental fillings expert, offers two choices of filling agents, including composite-tooth colored and metal amalgam materials, both of which can improve the appearance of your smile, repair dental damage, and augment your overall and oral health.

What Are Composite Fillings?

Resin fillings, also referred to as tooth-colored fillings, are composed of ceramic and plastic materials. Dr. Redford uses only the safest, most durable materials when improving the health and function of his patients’ smiles. Not only do composite fillings look completely natural, they blend in flawlessly with your existing teeth to create a seamless, healthy-looking smile. Using advanced digital technology, Denver dental fillings dentist David Redford can perform an in-depth analysis of your teeth to detect, identify, and correct structural imparities that exist within your mouth. Placing resin fillings requires a significant amount of patience and precision, which is why many dentists refrain from using the material.

What Are Metal Fillings?

Amalgams, commonly known as metal, fillings are crafted using a combination of mercury, copper, tin, and silver materials. Many dentists prefer to use metal fillings because they are easier to work with than composite fillings. Mercury, which makes up approximately half of the restoration, is used to fuse the material to the tooth. Usually, an amalgam filling can be precisely placed in a matter of minutes.

Differences between Filling Materials


Silver, amalgam fillings have been a reliable, durable, and safe material used by doctors for well over 150 years. While many dentists continue to utilize the material to fill cavities, others insist on restoring a tooth’s structure with a resin based compound. The reason for preferring to use a composite, natural-looking material stems from the belief that the bonding agent, for silver fillings, is mercury based. Although, the amount of mercury released in the mouth, when a patient chews or grinds his or her teeth, is miniscule, some dentists refuse to directly expose their patients to the substance.


Because metal often displays changes in size and shape when exposed to either hot or cold temperatures, silver fillings, when placed within the tooth’s structure, can cause minor to severe cracking. For our patients in Denver, dental crowns are often used by dentists to restore functionality and aesthetics to a fractured tooth. Tooth-colored fillings also have a tendency to shrink, during instillation, when exposed to LED light. Rarely will the filling cause the tooth to crack, however, some tension and pressure may form, initially, within the tooth. Typically, the longevity of a tooth-colored filling is the same as an amalgam filling. Once placed, the filling should have a life span of one to two decades.


Resin composite fillings blend in flawlessly with the rest of your existing teeth. The mixture of all-natural plastic and ceramic materials mimics the appearance of natural teeth. On the other hand, amalgam fillings are composed of darker, less natural-looking substances. A metal filling is easy to detect, especially if the material is placed directly on the surface of the tooth. Dr. Redford’s artistic eye, detail oriented nature, and years of experience make him an authority in the restorative dentistry field. To determine which type of filling will work best for your smile and your dental needs, Dr. David Redford will perform a thorough examination of your teeth. Not only will he take into account the location and size of the structural decay, he will evaluate your medical history, present you with all of your treatment options, and address any concerns or questions that you may have regarding your dental restoration.


Although composite fillings look more natural than silver and amalgam fillings, they are often more expensive. At our Denver cosmetic dentistry practice, Dr. David Redford recommends his patients take advantage of the health related, functional, and aesthetic benefits of tooth-colored fillings.  Although, they may cost more initially, the use of composite fillings will save you from having to have healthy tooth enamel removed from your smile.

Contact University Dental Arts Today!

To learn more about the services that University Dental Arts provides, contact Dr. Redford directly. If you or someone you know is in need of a dental filling, contact the office so a skilled dental professional can discuss with you how best to achieve the results you desire and the flourishing oral health you deserve to have.

Inlays and Onlays Treatment

Our mouth is an ideal environment in which bacteria can grow, so it is likely that we will experience some degree of tooth decay. The most common treatment for minor cases of tooth decay is a dental filling. When tooth decay has gone too far to be treated with a dental filling, Dr. David Redford, a respected Denver cosmetic dentist, offers inlays and onlays treatment.

Candidates for Inlays and Onlays

When you suffer from a degree of decay that cannot be treated with a dental filling, you should consider inlay or onlay treatment. While regular dental fillings can leave a tooth vulnerable to continued decay, inlays and onlays actually strengthen the tooth and protect it from bacteria. Dr. Redford can examine your teeth and the extent of your tooth decay to determine if you are a candidate for inlays or onlays treatment.

Inlays and Onlays Treatment

Inlays and onlays replace lost or damaged tooth material, and cover a portion of the tooth’s surface to actually leave the tooth stronger and more functional. Dr. Redford will decide if you need an inlay or onlay based on the degree of decay that has taken place. An inlay is used if the decay is within the tooth’s cusps and an onlay is required if the decay has extended to include one or more of the tooth’s bumpy structures on the biting surface.

Because the inlays will cover such a large portion of the tooth, we usually recommend that they be composed of a tooth-colored material. This will allow the restoration to blend in and leave the aesthetics of your teeth uncompromised.

We will need to perform treatment over a span of two dental appointments. One appointment will be needed to clean and prepare the tooth. After all the decay has been removed, we will be able to get an accurate impression to use as a model for the inlay or onlay. Dr. Redford will likely place a temporary filling at this point, while the inlay or onlay is constructed off-site. At your second and final appointment, we can replace your temporary filling with the inlay or onlay. The restoration will be cemented to the tooth and treatment will be complete.


Inlays and onlays are a preferred treatment method because they allow patients to keep their healthy tooth material. Instead of replacing or covering the tooth, an inlay or onlay becomes part of the tooth and strengthens it. Someone with an inlay or onlay can comfortably perform any normal function of the mouth.

Alternate Treatments

For our patients in Denver, dental crowns or other reconstructive dental treatments will be necessary if tooth decay is severe or the function and structure of the tooth have been severely compromised. Dr. Redford will determine which treatment will be most beneficial.

Schedule an Appointment

To learn more about inlays and onlays treatment, as well as the other dental treatments we offer, schedule an appointment with Dr. David Redford. He will be happy to perform an exam and determine your best course of treatment.

Dental Bonding Uses

Dental BondingWe all know the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene habits. Unfortunately, with the busy lives we lead, sometimes our dental habits may be less than perfect. Even those who routinely brush and floss will most likely experience some oral health problems. At Dr. David Redford’s Denver cosmetic dentistry practice, dental bonding is offered as a solution to patients who are suffering from minor dental imperfections.

What Is Dental Bonding?

Dental bonding is a conservative treatment for a large array of cosmetic flaws. In addition, dental bonding offers patients the following benefits:

  • Dental bonding is one of the least expensive cosmetic dental procedures
  • Dental bonding requires very little preparation of the treated tooth
  • Dental bonding does not require the removal of significant amounts of tooth enamel
  • Dental bonding is a pain-free procedure
  • A dental bonding procedure is usually completed in less than an hour

Dental Bonding Candidates

Dental bonding is best suited for patients with cosmetic imperfections or minor dental problems. Dental bonding is a possible solution for many cosmetic dental problems, including the following:

  • Small chips or fractures
  • Teeth that have yellowed or lost luster
  • Teeth that will benefit from crown lengthening
  • Small areas of tooth decay
  • Teeth that appear uneven or crooked

After an examination, Dr. Redford can let you know if dental bonding will work for you.

The Procedure

Dental bonding is a simple treatment that generally takes just under an hour per treated tooth. There is no enamel removed in the dental bonding process, so there is little preparation required. We will clean the surface of the tooth and rough it up a bit to help the bonding material stick. The bonding material, which is a durable plastic, will cover any areas of the teeth that need to be corrected. Dr. Redford will file the material down to give it a smooth surface. When he has achieved his desired consistency and shape, he will be ready for the bonding process. The material will be exposed to a dental light that hardens the material and allows it to bond to the tooth. Once this is complete, Dr. Redford will make any final touch-ups. When Dr. Redford is happy with the results, the tooth will be polished to blend in with the natural look of the surrounding teeth in your mouth.

Alternatives to Dental Bonding

Dental bonding is an ideal treatment for minor dental problems. For dental problems that are more severe, alternate treatments will be necessary. Dr. Redford is experienced in cosmetic and restorative dentistry and is successful in treating an array of dental problems. For our patients in Denver, Invisalign®, dental crowns, dental implants, and more may be the solution for oral health issues such as misaligned teeth, severe tooth decay, or missing teeth.

Schedule an Appointment

To see if dental bonding is an option for you, or to seek treatment for more severe dental problems, schedule an appointment with Dr. David Redford today. We are ready to give you the smile you desire.

Popular Smile Makeover Treatments

Dental imperfections, such as crooked or discolored teeth, often cause our dental patients to feel insecure about the appearance of their smiles. Denver cosmetic dentist David Redford believes that no patient should ever have to feel insecure because of the appearance of his or her smile. Dr. Redford combines and customizes smile makeover treatments in such a way that each individual patient is able to discover the full potential of his or her smile. Through a smile makeover, you can have the healthy, beautiful smile you deserve.

What Is a Smile Makeover?

A smile makeover is a treatment plan consisting of one or more cosmetic dentistry procedures designed to enhance your smile. Patients undergoing smile makeovers may have only one or two teeth in need of treatment, while others require more comprehensive treatment. Smile makeovers are tailored to each individual patient, because no two people share the same goals or needs, and every smile is unique. Smile makeovers may be used to address a full range of dental issues including cracked or broken teeth, discolored teeth, gaps between teeth, uneven teeth, teeth damaged by decay, missing teeth, and crooked teeth.

Candidates for Smile Makeovers

Any dental patient who is unhappy with the appearance of his or her smile is most likely an ideal candidate for a smile makeover. Because of this, any patient who wishes to restore his or her smile to optimal beauty and health should consider a smile makeover. From minor discoloration to badly damaged teeth, we will customize a smile makeover to your unique dental needs.

Popular Smile Makeover Treatments

While your smile makeover plan will be created specifically for you, three of the most popular treatments that are commonly included in smile makeovers are teeth whitening, porcelain veneers, and Invisalign®.

  • Teeth whitening: One of the most popular dental treatments available today is teeth whitening. Laser teeth whitening is one of the easiest and quickest ways to revitalize your smile. Teeth whitening can provide exquisite and long-lasting results. Drinking coffee, wine, and tea, as well as aging and wear of the teeth all cause discoloration and staining to occur in the teeth’s enamel and dentin. Through laser teeth whitening, your teeth can become six to ten shades whiter than they were before treatment.
  • Porcelain veneers: Porcelain veneers are an ideal smile makeover treatment option for patients desiring to completely change their smiles while still achieving natural-looking results. Aesthetically pleasing and natural looking, porcelain veneers are thin, custom-made porcelain shells that are bonded to the front surfaces of the teeth to improve their appearance. They provide inconspicuous results while effectively improving the appearance of chipped teeth, misshapen teeth, crooked teeth, and discolored teeth. Veneers can also close gaps between the teeth.
  • Invisalign®: Another treatment option in your smile makeover is Invisalign®. For our dental patients in Denver, Invisalign® can effectively correct orthodontic issues while remaining completely inconspicuous. Invisalign® aligners are virtually undetectable when worn and can be removed for up to two hours a day.

Contact University Dental Arts

To find out more about the many smile makeover treatments we offer, or to schedule a personal consultation, please contact University Dental Arts. We would be happy to answer any questions you may have.