In early dentistry, amalgam fillings were the standard of care to repair tooth decay. They were called “silver” fillings, although this is actually a misnomer, as amalgam fillings have more mercury in them than silver.
As dental technology advanced, white composite fillings were introduced as an attractive alternative to amalgam. Not only are composite fillings more aesthetic, but they also offer many additional benefits over analgam fillings.
Advantages of Mercury-Free Composite Fillings
- Reduced sensitivity: The metals within amalgam fillings conduct extreme temperatures toward the tooth’s inner nerve. This can cause sensitivity to hot and cold that is not experienced with metal-free composite.
- Direct bonding: Composite fillings bond directly to your tooth, strengthening it. By contrast, amalgam fillings themselves are very strong, but weaken the surrounding tooth.
- Less preparation: Less of the tooth structure will need to be removed to restore a cavity with composite fillings.
- Aesthetics: As you can see in the images above, the white composite fillings blend more seamlessly with the natural tooth structure.
Even though mercury is a toxic metal, the American Dental Association says that they are perfectly safe. Still, many patients have concerns with amalgam fillings, which are made up of over 50% mercury. For this reason, as well as the benefits discussed above, Dr. Stillman prefers to restore cavities with mercury-free composite fillings.
If you would like old amalgam fillings replaced are concerned with possibly swallowing the debris, Dr. Stillman will use a hygenic technique to safely remove the amalgam. Using a rubber dam, she will isolate the affected tooth to eliminate your exposure to any mercury debris.
If you’re looking for a mercury-free dentist, call the Dental House on Donnelly or request an appointment online with Dr. Stillman.