The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that over 90% of adults have experienced at least one cavity in their lifetime, with one in four adults currently having one or more untreated cavities. While silver (amalgam) fillings were once the standard for treating these dental issues, recent research has revealed potential health risks associated with them. To understand the importance of replacing silver fillings and why tooth-colored fillings are a superior alternative, keep reading.
What Are Dental Fillings Made From?
Amalgam fillings consist of a mixture of metals such as silver, copper, and tin. These fillings are traditionally used to repair teeth damaged by decay and can endure the pressures of biting and chewing.
On the other hand, contemporary dental fillings are crafted from composite resin, a blend of dental-grade plastic, glass, and ceramic particles. While both types of fillings are dependable for restoring the strength and function of compromised teeth, dental and health professionals increasingly advocate for composite fillings as the preferred choice over silver amalgam fillings.
Disadvantages of Metal Fillings
There are several disadvantages associated with metal fillings, and some of the most significant ones include:
- Tooth sensitivity and enamel damage –Amalgam fillings have poor adhesion to teeth and tend to expand and contract significantly in response to extreme temperatures. This expansion and contraction can lead to tooth sensitivity and microfractures in the tooth enamel, ultimately weakening the teeth over time.
- Highly noticeable –Amalgam fillings, being made of shiny metal, are highly noticeable and may cause self-consciousness about your smile.
- Mercury content –The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stated that amalgam fillings are safe. However, certain studies have indicated that individuals with eight or more metal fillings may exhibit a notable increase in their blood mercury levels. Mercury is known to be toxic to humans and can lead to neurological problems, skin rashes, and various other health issues.
4 Benefits of Tooth-Colored Fillings
Fortunately, tooth-colored composite fillings provide several benefits in comparison to metal fillings, such as:
- Seal out bacteria –When a tooth-colored filling is placed, it creates a secure seal with the enamel, effectively blocking harmful oral bacteria from infiltrating the tooth.
- Enamel preservation –Composite fillings are flexible and establish a chemical bond with the adjacent enamel, contributing to tooth strength and ensuring a firm grip for the filling. Moreover, minimal to no removal of healthy enamel is necessary when placing tooth-colored fillings.
- Lessen tooth sensitivity – Tooth-colored fillings are metal-free, making them the ideal option for patients with metal allergies or sensitivities. Additionally, they remain stable and don’t expand or contract with temperature fluctuations.
- Seamless integration –Composite resin fillings are meticulously color-matched to your natural teeth, ensuring they blend seamlessly with the rest of your smile, making them virtually indistinguishable.
Consider discussing the replacement of your silver fillings with your dentist, opting for composite ones. Not only will this reduce the risk of mercury exposure, but it will also enhance the aesthetics of your smile, leaving it looking healthier and more beautiful than ever before!
About the Practice
Are you seeking to replace your metal fillings with composite ones? Look no further than Dr. Terri Alani and her talented, compassionate team at Distinctive Dentistry. They are skilled in all aspects of maintaining excellent oral health and provide composite dental fillings to reduce the risk of mercury-related issues while boosting your smile’s confidence. For further details on composite fillings or to arrange an appointment, visit Dr. Alani’s website or call (713) 621-5141.