Patients who needed to get cavities filled more than 25 years ago likely have amalgam restorations made of a mixture of metals. These fillings are dark and contrast noticeably with the tooth material that surrounds them, and they also contain mercury, which is of concern to some patients due to its potential toxicity. If you want to swap out your old amalgam fillings for a more attractive alternative or for health reasons, you can consult with a mercury free dentist to explore your alternatives.
Obviously, the restorations provided by a mercury free dentist have significant aesthetic benefits. The alternative composite resin materials, which are made from a combination of plastics and ceramics, approximate the color of your enamel, so they don’t intrude on your smile’s appearance.
Beyond the boost to your smile’s appearance, composite fillings also are not as susceptible to fluctuations in temperature as amalgam fillings are. While amalgam fillings may crack or break as they expand and contract due to temperature changes, composite restorations are much less likely to do so.
Composite materials also bond more effectively with biological tooth material. Therefore, less healthy tooth material needs to be removed to accommodate a composite filling than to make room for an amalgam one.
If you do decide to upgrade and replace your old amalgam fillings, you should be sure to choose a mercury free dentist who takes precautions to minimize your exposure to mercury as the amalgam filling is removed from your tooth. Safety is of the utmost importance in this process, and your dentist should be able to tell you the steps that are being taken to reduce your risk during treatment. Don’t hesitate to ask for an explanation on any details that you may not understand or seem confusing at first.
It is possible to have existing amalgam fillings safely removed and replaced with composite restorations. To learn more about this treatment option, call our team at East Hills Dental Associates to schedule an initial consultation.