Get to Know the Advantages of Mercury-Free Fillings
- Posted on: Apr 15 2016
For the past 150 years, dentists have been repairing cavities with dental amalgam. The material was developed as an affordable alternative to gold, which had previously been the standard of care. As with most things in life, we have come to realize that, with amalgam fillings, you get what you pay for. Although less expensive materials may seem an appealing option, the preference in our office is to give our patients the opportunity to enjoy lasting restorations. This is something we do with mercury-free fillings.
What does it mean to be mercury-free?
Mercury is one of the primary components to amalgam fillings. For this reason, the term “mercury fillings” has become quite common. For some people, mercury-free fillings are preferred because they wish to avoid exposure to the questionable effects of mercury. A mercury-free filling is not made of amalgam, or even of metal. What forms these restorations is composite resin.
Benefits of mercury-free fillings
There are several advantages to composite resin fillings. These restorations are also called tooth-colored fillings, which indicates one of the primary benefits right away. Who doesn’t love the idea of hiding all evidence of a cavity? With amalgams, patients notice that the discreet color of silver eventually darkens and becomes very obvious in their smile.
While the esthetic nature of composite resin is an attractive characteristic, beauty is only one of the benefits that come from a tooth-colored filling. The primary reason that our office has been mercury and amalgam-free for the past twenty-five years is that we are in the business of preserving teeth, and we feel we can best accomplish this with composite fillings.
To place an amalgam filling in a tooth, it is necessary to modify natural structure beyond the removal of damaged enamel. This is because amalgam does not adhere to a tooth, it must be mechanically retained. Essentially, the filling is held in place by the structure of the tooth, the structure made by the dentist. Composites, on the other hand, are bonded to the tooth. This means that repair consists of removing only material that has been damaged by decay.
Conservative dental care is what you deserve, and what you get from Clyde, NC dentist John Highsmith, DDS.