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Why Our Dental Team Decided On Dentistry Without Amalgam

Many patients see our practice asking to upgrade their silver fillings. They want their outdated metal fillings removed and replaced with tooth-colored fillings. Patients often mention esthetic and overall health concerns about their metal fillings. It is a fact that the esthetics of your smile can be considerably improved using a far more natural, tooth-colored repair. Additionally, there are lots of reasons why it makes sense to upgrade to a tooth colored porcelain restoration or a resin composite filling.

Almost everything wears out, and your silver fillings will not be any different. They withstand stressful and heavy biting forces daily, and as they get older, they will break, leak and may bring about damaging fractures on teeth. With time, metal amalgam fillings can, in fact, absorb water, causing them to swell and break free from the teeth. When this occurs, your tooth is more susceptible to tooth decay and tenderness.


Mercury/Silver fillings share some other noted drawbacks that ought to be considered if it’s time to swap your restorations:

• Silver fillings are much less esthetic than natural-colored fillings. After all, they don’t look anything like real teeth.

• Amalgam expands and contracts whenever subjected to cold and hot extremes inside your mouth. The constant expansion and shrinkage with temperature may initiate cracks as well as fractures in teeth. There will not be any symptoms for a while, but these teeth can become sensitive as the fracture expands or opens if you bite down or chew. It’s not unusual for patients to come in questioning how they broke their tooth when they had been eating something soft such as a banana or slice of bread. What they don’t know is that the tooth probably had a fracture in it well before it eventually came apart.

• Silver fillings under continuous chewing stress are prone to metal weakness or bending and flexing failure, a concept which is often understood and shown by continuously bending a paperclip until it breaks.

• Metal fillings are much harder and far less flexible than the teeth they’re wedged into. The longer they may be on the teeth, the more force they will put on the remaining weakened surfaces of the tooth bringing about cracks and fractures.

• Metal fillings aren’t glued to the cavity. They just sit in the surrounding tooth and react under pressure to split the tooth apart, similar to how a metal wedge is required to split logs for firewood.

• A tiny space around the filling edge exists from the moment the silver filling is plugged into the tooth; and within this space, constant corrosion and leakage takes place. This space is large enough to permit harmful bacteria and food particles to enter in after a while and bring about tooth decay at the crack between the filling and the tooth. Composite fillings, however, are actually glued to the tooth preparation area and seal the margins closed from bacterial invasion.

• In order to prepare a tooth 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 virgin tooth structure as is feasible.

• Silver fillings necessitate drilling undercuts (think carving out a pumpkin) along with taking away more substantial healthy parts from the tooth so as to keep the mercury amalgam repair from falling out given it is not attached directly to the tooth. Those undercuts could also weaken the tooth as fillings get bigger and sentence that tooth to upcoming cracking later on. These fractures may be significant resulting in crowning the tooth to restore it or perhaps major fractures bringing about extraction of the tooth.

• Composites, with their opportunity to be conservative and applying their gluelike attributes, could strengthen and guard against fracture. By intercepting the chance of fracture before experiencing the signs and symptoms of hot and cold sensitivity as well as biting pain, completely new conservative treatment options like natural-colored restorations or porcelain-bonded restorations are reducing the negative effects of toothaches and damaged teeth.

• Finally, a growing number of dentists believe that, bonded tooth-colored restoratives are likely to be safer compared to traditional fillings, because they don’t have any mercury. Although the American Dental Association (ADA) suggests using mercury in metal fillings is safe, there’s an ongoing debate inside the dental field regarding the adverse effects of these mercury amalgam fillings. Many European countries actually prohibited using mercury amalgam fillings to avoid any dangers connected with mercury.

Employing a PROACTIVE instead of a REACTIVE method to amalgam extraction is a choice many patients hope to have our practice follow.