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Why Our Office Decided On Amalgam-Free Dental Care

With current technologies of dental adhesion, state-of-the-art ceramics and resins, the latest bonded restorations are close to matching nature in durability, comfort, functionality and appearance. Using these new materials, it is easy to bond teeth back together, practically restoring them back to their virgin strength minus the invasiveness of complete-coverage crowns. Normally, metal fillings can be replaced with methods which are safer than mercury/silver amalgam fillings. It is, as a result, possible to maintain the healthy, leftover tooth composition, as an alternative to grinding it down for a crown.

Almost everything wears away, and your silver fillings will be no exception. They hold up against stress-filled and heavy biting forces each day, and as they age, they break, leak and may also bring about damaging fractures in teeth. Over time, metal amalgam fillings have the ability to absorb water, causing them to swell and even break free from the teeth. When this happens, your tooth is much more vulnerable to tooth decay and tenderness.

Mercury/Silver fillings share some other noted drawbacks that need to be considered when it’s time for you to swap your restorations:

• Silver fillings are much less appealing than tooth-colored fillings. Think about it, they scream out, “I am a metal filling put here because this person didn’t take care of their teeth very well!”

• Amalgam expands and contracts when exposed to hot and cold extremes inside your mouth. The continuous expansion and contraction with temperature may set off cracks as well as fractures in your teeth. There may not be any indicators for a while, yet these teeth can become hypersensitive as the fracture increases or opens whenever you bite down or chew. It’s not strange for patients to come in wanting to know how they broke their tooth when they were eating something soft such as bread or a banana. What they don’t know is that the tooth more than likely had a fracture in it a long time before it eventually came apart.

• Silver fillings under constant chewing stress are at risk of metal weakness or flexing and bending failure, a concept that can be understood and shown by continuously bending a paperclip until it finally breaks.

• Metal fillings are harder and less flexible compared to the teeth they’re wedged into. The more time they may be on the teeth, the more pressure they place on the rest of the weakened outer surfaces of the tooth bringing about fractures and cracks.

• Metal fillings are not cemented into the tooth cavity. They only sit in the surrounding tooth and act under pressure to wedge the tooth apart, like a metal wedge can be used to split logs into firewood.

• A microscopic gap surrounding the filling edge is present from the moment your silver filling is plugged into the tooth; and within this space, normal corrosion and leakage takes place. This gap is big enough to permit bacteria and food particles to seep in over time and lead to tooth decay at the margin between the tooth and the filling. Composite fillings, however, are actually bonded to the tooth surfaces and seal the margins closed from bacterial invasion.

• In order to get a tooth ready for a composite filling, the tooth can usually be treated considerably more gently and with less healthy tooth structure needing to be removed. And thus, the dentist can maintain the highest possible level of healthy tooth structure as is feasible.

• Silver fillings require drilling undercuts (think carving out a pumpkin) along with removing larger good portions from the tooth so as to keep the mercury amalgam repair from falling out because it is not bonded right to the tooth. These types of undercuts could also compromise the tooth as fillings get bigger and doom that tooth to subsequent fracture in the future. These cracks could be substantial resulting in crowning the tooth to repair it or even major cracks bringing about extraction of the tooth.

• Composites, with their opportunity to be conservative and applying their gluelike properties, could reinforce and guard against fracture. Through blocking the chance of fracturing before experiencing the symptoms of hot/cold sensitivity and also biting pain, innovative conservative treatments like tooth-colored fillings or porcelain-bonded restorations are actually reducing the side effects of toothaches and damaged teeth.

• Finally, many dentists say that, bonded tooth-colored restoratives are considered safer compared to standard fillings, since they don’t include any mercury. Even though the American Dental Association (ADA) declares using mercury in metal fillings is harmless, there is certainly an ongoing discussion inside the dental industry in regards to the adverse effects of those mercury amalgam fillings. In Europe, several countries have prohibited using mercury amalgam fillings to avoid any dangers connected with mercury.

Given the menu of negatives associated, and potentially associated, with silver/mercury amalgam fillings, it becomes clear why patients are directing The Practice of Frank Stone, DDS to be PROACTIVE about disposal of mercury fillings instead of being REACTIVE and waiting until something goes wrong with the tooth.