Why Our Office Offers Dental Care Without Amalgam

Many patients see us requesting to upgrade their silver fillings. They really want their old metal fillings removed and swapped out with tooth-colored fillings. People often mention esthetic and overall health concerns about their metal fillings. It is a fact that the esthetics of your smile could be greatly enhanced using a far more natural, tooth colored repair. In addition to this, there are lots of reasons that explain why it makes sense to upgrade to a tooth-colored porcelain “filling” or a resin composite filling.

Almost everything wears away, and your silver fillings are no exception. They withstand stressful and significant biting forces daily, and as they get older, they crack, leak and can cause damaging fractures on teeth. Over time, metal amalgam fillings have the ability to absorb water, causing them to swell and break away from the teeth. When this occurs, your tooth is more liable to tooth decay and tenderness.

Mercury/Silver fillings share some negatives worth listing that ought to be considered when it’s time to swap your restorations:

• Silver fillings are less attractive than tooth-colored fillings. The bare truth is, they’re about as beautiful as large hunks of broccoli lodged in your smile.

• Amalgam expands and contracts when subjected to cold and hot extremes within your mouth. The frequent expansion and shrinkage through temperature may initiate cracks as well as fractures in your teeth. There will not be any sort of indicators for a while, but these teeth may become sensitive as the crack increases or opens if you bite down or chew. It is not uncommon for patients to come in questioning how they broke their own tooth when they were eating something soft similar to bread or a banana. What they don’t realize is that the tooth probably had a crack in it long before it ultimately came apart.

• Silver fillings that are under continual chewing stress are vulnerable to metal fatigue or bending and flexing failure, a concept that may be grasped and confirmed by continuously bending a paperclip until it breaks.

• Metal fillings are harder and less flexible than the teeth they are wedged into. The longer they may be in the teeth, the more force they put on the remaining weak outer surfaces of the tooth bringing about cracks and fractures.

• Metal fillings are not cemented in the tooth cavity. They simply sit in the tooth and react under pressure to wedge the tooth apart, just like a metal wedge is utilized to split logs for firewood.

• A microscopic gap surrounding the filling edge exists as soon as the silver filling is plugged into the tooth; and in this gap, constant corrosion and leakage takes place. This gap is big enough to allow harmful bacteria and food particles to seep in after a while and result in tooth decay at the joint between the tooth and the filling. Composite fillings, however, are actually bonded to the tooth preparation area and seal the margins closed from bacterial invasion.

• To be able to get a tooth ready for a composite filling, the tooth can be treated much more gently and with less healthy tooth structure needing to be removed. And for that reason, the dentist can retain the highest level of original tooth structure as possible

• Silver fillings call for drilling undercuts (think carving out a pumpkin) along with removing larger healthy parts out from the tooth to be able to keep the mercury amalgam filling from falling out given it is not attached straight to the tooth. These kinds of undercuts might also weaken the tooth as fillings get larger and doom that tooth to subsequent fracture at some point. These cracks can be significant resulting in crowning the tooth to fix it or even catastrophic cracks bringing about removal of the tooth.

• Composites, with their chance to be conservative and implementing their gluelike properties, can strengthen and guard against fracture. By intercepting the opportunity for fracturing before experiencing the hassles of hot/cold sensitivity and also biting discomfort, completely new conservative treatments including tooth-colored fillings or porcelain-bonded restorations are reducing the complications of toothaches and broken teeth.

• Finally, a growing number of dentists believe that, bonded natural-colored restoratives are considered safer than standard fillings, given that they do not have any mercury. Although the American Dental Association (ADA) claims the usage of mercury in metal fillings is harmless, there is an ongoing disagreement inside the dental industry in regards to the adverse effects of those mercury amalgam fillings. Several of the European countries have banned the usage of mercury amalgam fillings in order to avoid any sort of dangers associated with mercury.

Given the list of negatives associated, and potentially associated, with silver/mercury amalgam fillings, it becomes clear why patients are directing us to be PROACTIVE about removal of mercury fillings rather than being REACTIVE and waiting until something goes wrong with the tooth.



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  • Gladstone Family Dental Group
  • 2109 N.E. 72nd Street Suite 101
  • Gladstone, MO 64118
  • (816) 452-3420