Why Our Dental Team Decided On Dentistry Without Amalgam

A number of dental patients come to our practice asking to update their silver fillings. They really want their obsolete metal fillings taken out and substituted with tooth-colored fillings. Patients commonly cite esthetic and overall health considerations with their old metal fillings. It is true that the esthetics of your smile may be dramatically improved using a far more natural, tooth-colored repair. In addition, there are many good reasons why it’s smart to update to a tooth-colored porcelain “filling” or maybe a resin composite filling.

Almost everything wears out, and your silver fillings will not be any different. They withstand stressful and heavy biting forces every day, and as they get older, they will crack, leak and can also cause damaging fractures in the teeth. With time, metal amalgam fillings have the ability to soak up water, causing them to swell and break free from the teeth. When this happens, your tooth is far more liable to tooth decay and sensitivity.


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

• Silver fillings are much less esthetic than natural-colored fillings. The bare truth is, 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 subjected to hot and cold extremes within your mouth. The constant expansion and contraction through temperature can easily initiate cracks as well as fractures in teeth. There may not be any kind of indicators for a while, but these teeth could become sensitive as the fracture increases or opens when you bite down or chew. It’s not uncommon for patients to come in wondering how they broke their tooth when they had been eating something soft similar to bread or a banana. What they don’t realize is that the tooth almost certainly had a fracture in it long before it finally came apart.

• Silver fillings under continual chewing pressure are vulnerable to metal fatigue or bending and flexing failure, a concept which may be fully understood and demonstrated by continuously bending a metal paperclip until it eventually breaks.

• Metal fillings are much harder and far less flexible compared to the teeth they are molded into. The longer they may be in the teeth, the more pressure they will place on the rest of the weakened walls of the tooth leading to cracks and fractures.

• Metal fillings are not glued into the cavity. They just sit in the surrounding tooth and act under pressure to wedge the tooth apart, similar to how a metal wedge is required to split logs for firewood.

• A tiny space around the filling edge exists as soon as your silver filling is plugged into the tooth; and in this space, continuous leakage and corrosion occurs. This space is big enough to allow harmful bacteria and food particles to enter in over time and lead to tooth decay at the margin between the tooth and the filling. Composite fillings, however, are essentially glued to the tooth surface and seal the margins closed from bacterial invasion.

• In order to prepare a tooth for a composite filling, the tooth can be treated a great deal more gently and with less healthy tooth structure needing to be removed. And for that reason, the dentist can maintain the highest amount of original tooth structure as is possible

• Silver fillings call for drilling undercuts (think carving out a pumpkin) along with taking away larger healthy parts from the tooth in order to keep the mercury amalgam filling from falling out given it is not bonded straight to the tooth. These kinds of undercuts also can weaken the tooth as fillings get larger and sentence that tooth to upcoming cracking down the road. These fractures could be significant resulting in crowning the tooth to restore it or perhaps major fractures leading to removal of the tooth.

• Composites, utilizing their opportunity to be conservative and applying their adhesive qualities, may strengthen and guard against fracture. By blocking the potential for fracturing before experiencing the symptoms of hot and cold sensitivity and also biting discomfort, new conservative solutions like natural-colored restorations or porcelain-bonded restorations are actually preventing the negative effects of toothaches and broken teeth.

• Finally, in many dentists’ opinions, bonded tooth-colored restoratives are probably safer compared to traditional fillings, given that they don’t incorporate any mercury. While the American Dental Association (ADA) suggests the use of mercury in metal fillings is harmless, there is certainly an ongoing disagreement in the dental sector concerning the negative effects of those mercury amalgam fillings. Many European countries actually prohibited the use of mercury amalgam fillings to avoid any kind of hazards linked to mercury.

Utilizing a PROACTIVE as opposed to a REACTIVE approach to amalgam replacement is actually a choice quite a few patients are happy to have our practice follow.



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  • Sophisticated Smiles
  • Mark Szierer, DMD
  • 85 Reaville Ave
  • Flemington, NJ 08822
  • Phone: (908) 806-4333
  • Fax: (908) 806-2024

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