Benefits of mercury safe dental fillings in Anderson SC
Posted by Dr. James Groeber
A “silver” filling refers to a dental restoration comprising a mix of mercury, silver, tin, and other metals. These metal fillings are known as amalgam, and have been used as a treatment method in dentistry since the 19th century.
Key Advantages of Mercury Free Fillings
Notably, there has been a significant reduction in the use of amalgam fillings. Increasingly, there has been a movement in favor of mercury-free fillings made of composite resin material. A substantial portion of the decline in the amalgam fillings use is due to the suspect nature of the safety of mercury. Aesthetic Dentistry, led by an experienced dentist Dr. James Groeber, provides mercury safe dental solutions in Anderson SC.
Mercury is highly toxic in its natural state. However, several studies have indicated that it is inactive in combination with other metals. Furthermore, its handling in dental offices could lead to a risk of environmental pollution through evaporation, landfill contamination, and wastewater disposal.
Besides the aspect of mercury toxicity, these fillings are not considered aesthetically appealing, particularly after some time when their color begins to darken. The properties of the metal (expansion and contraction) make it more susceptible to separating from the teeth, fracturing, or creating sensitivity to temperature.
Amalgam fillings may not be the most suitable restorations any longer due to a growing list of limitations. A noticeable decline in amalgam usage over the years has increased the popularity of tooth-colored fillings that are mercury free. What makes composite resin fillings so ideal?
No risk of pollution or toxicity
Tooth-colored restorations are cosmetically more appealing when used in the front or back teeth
Minimal risk for expansion, temperature sensitivity, or contraction
Ability to attach to the enamel
Choosing metal-free fillings is a decision that depends on the dentist's judgment as well as the patient's preferences. In a majority of cases, older fillings are taken out, and metal-free fillings replace these as necessary. If there are new sites of tooth decay, these are restored with metal-free alternatives as well.
Dr. James Groeber of Aesthetic Dentistry provides mercury safe dental procedures in Anderson, SC for sustainable and holistic results.
Notable Features of Mercury-Free Fillings
An amalgam filling is made of metals, which make it stand out when placed in naturally white teeth. The amalgam filling becomes visible when a person laughs, smiles, or speaks. The dentist matches tooth-colored fillings to the natural tooth shade of the patient. This allows the fillings to blend in seamlessly.
Composite fillings bind to the tooth structure offering protection against decay and strengthening the tooth. This bond allows a composite filling to last for 7 to 10 years which is the estimated longevity of an amalgam filling as well. Significantly, dental amalgams do not create such a bond. They merely act as a mechanical barrier to protect against decay. Therefore, after a while, a tooth with amalgam fillings can weaken creating an impact on the patient’s long-term dental health.
Composite fillings offer sustainable bacterial invasion protection. After this filling has been placed, it will not alter shape or wear down even with chewing and biting forces. Composite fillings do not allow bacteria and food particles to enter the tooth. But, silver amalgams on the chewing surfaces may alter shape with chewing and biting impact. This can lead to small cracks in the material or between the filling and natural tooth structure. These cracks can enable bacteria to enter the tooth, leading to an even more significant decay issue than the patient had previously.
Conservative dentistry involves the preservation of as much natural tooth structure as possible. In comparison to the composite resin, amalgam fillings involve more tooth reduction leading to more removal of the tooth's natural structure. Amalgams may not be the ideal choice for patients seeking to maximize the natural tooth structure in their mouths.
Higher Functionality via Conservative Care
Amalgam fillings are effective in the treatment of decay. However, they are not as suitable in protecting teeth against the invasion of bacteria as composite fillings. Mercury-free fillings create a strong bond with the tooth, which prevents bacterial invasion and more severe problems. These fillings can also offer more strength to the treated tooth while amalgam fillings can lead to the tooth weakening over time.
Patients seeking mercury safe dental options in Anderson SC should contact Aesthetic Dentistry for an appointment with Dr. James Groeber.