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Amalgam Replacement

Silver filling  or amalgam replacement is the process of using resin or porcelain materials to replace old amalgams ( aka silver fillings or mercury fillings) together with any decayed tooth structure that may be under those fillings.

Resin fillings are recommended for small cavities only. For large amalgam replacement cases we strongly recommend ceramic inlays.

Ceramic fillings are traditionally done in a dental laboratory and require taking moulds and two visits. A new technology called CEREC has changed that.

Why do we replace amalgams?

These are some of the common reasons:

  • Cracks
  • Decayed areas under the old filling
  • So the tooth looks better especially in the visible part of the smile
  • Patient's concerns about safety of amalgams

It is very important that amalgam replacement is done for the right reasons and with minimum damage to what is left of the tooth. CEREC inlays provide a safe, minimally invasive method of replacing amalgams and strengthening the tooth in a single visit. Large resins are not recommended in our practice as they lack the durability of ceramics and they may cause leakage into the tooth.


Same Day Ceramic Fillings

CEREC  is state of the art German technology that allows impressions to be taken digitally and the ceramic inlay to be made chair-side. This means a single appointment, less need to for local anesthetic and less need for temporary fillings.

CEREC can fabricate inlays, onlays, crowns and veneers and the restorations are amazingly accurate and “tooth-like”. The ceramic materials used are of very similar hardness to the tooth, so they will not cause the opposing teeth to wear away.

Ceramic inlays considerably outlast plastic fillings because they are stronger and more wear-resistant, especially important for the main chewing teeth.

Dr Amrein started using the CEREC technology in 2000 when she did a research project on CEREC 2.0 that was presented in an international dental research conference in Japan. 

The technology has come a long way since then and Dr Amrein has used several versions of this technology over the last ten years. The newer versions of CEREC, are faster and more accurate than before and can yield amazing results.

The ceramics used in CEREC technology are all highly aesthetic and experience shows they have a unique capacity to blend in with surrounding structures. At Adelaide Cosmetic Dentistry, we use CEREC for front tooth veneers and crowns (when indicated), with beautiful natural results.

Amalgam Replacement - Before & After Gallery

Case 1 - Amalgam replacement

So how does the procedure work? It’s simple

  • 1

    Before Cerec:

    Large amalgams or silver fillings on lower teeth are often visible when laughing or even speaking.

  • 2

    Digital Mould:

    After removing the silver fillings a digital mould of teeth is taken using a small camera. The images appear on the screen instantly for the filling to be designed.

  • 3


    Ceramic inlays are designed to fit the precise dimensions of the cavity.

  • 4


    The information is wirelessly sent to a milling unit that shaves a prefabricated block of pure ceramic to the exact shape.

  • 5

    After Cerec:

    The inlays are then fitted in the mouth creating a seemless result.

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Book Your Appointment Today or Call Us on (08) 8213 1821

Compare your treatment plans

Have you already received a treatment plan and quote from another dentist?

Why not book an obligation-free consult with Dr Amrein to get a second opinion?

You can bring in your existing treatment plan and we can discuss the types and quality of materials that we would use, our preferred treatment planning approach and discuss any questions that you might have. 


Frequently Asked Questions


Q: What is amalgam relpaced with?

A: The common materials used in our practice are ceramics and resins.

Q: Is the procedure painful?

A: Depending on the individual situation of the tooth, a local anaesthetic may be needed. We ensure you are comfortable at all times.

Q: How long does the procedure take? Can I go back to work afterwards?

A: Amalgam replacement using CEREC is a one visit treatment. We usually require about one hour. Out of this one hour there is 20 minutes of design and fabrication during which you flick through magazine or watch a DVD. You should be able to continue your day as planned after the treatment.

Q: Is it permanent?

A: We can't say any health related procedure is permanent, however, ceramics are one of the longest lasting materials in dentistry and with proper and adequate home care they should last a long time.

Q: What is the effect on my smile?

A: The aesthetic improvement of amalgam replacement is considerable especially in the upper premolar area ( the upper side teeth) where the gray shadow of amalgam is visible.


Book Your Appointment Today or Call Us on (08) 8213 1821

Finance And Concessions

Veterans Affairs: At Adelaide Family Dentistry we see people holding Veterans Affair health cards. Members with White Cards will need to receive prior approval from the Department of Veterans Affairs before commencing treatment. If however you hold a Gold Card, treatment can begin immediately. Please let us know when you make an appointment that you hold a Veterans Affairs Health Card.

Child Dental Benefits Schedule – Medicare: At Adelaide Cosmetic Dentistry we accept Medicare’s – Child Dental Benefits Schedule. Patients usually receive a letter in the mail notifying them of eligibility. The plan is valid for treatment over two consecutive calendar years stated in the letter. It is simple to use your voucher – call us for an appointment and let us know you have received the letter. Bring the letter and your Medicare card with you to your appointment. Patients who are eligible for Medicare's Child Benefit Dental Schedule are bulk billed at Adelaide Cosmetic Dentistry which means there is no out of pocket expenses to you.

Finance: At Adelaide Cosmetic Dentistry we provide patients with a 6-month interest-free payment plan with GEM VISA. Before commencing it is important we find out how much GEM VISA will cover of your proposed treatment. This is done by filling in some paperwork and then submitting it to GEM VISA online. A response is almost immediate.If you are eligible to use the interest-free period we can begin treatment. Once the treatment is complete you will receive letters monthly from GEM VISA for payment of your treatment. Please ensure you pay your total bill within the 6-month interest-free period, as the interest rates can be quite high.


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