When you get a cavity, your dentist will remove any decay, clean the tooth, and fill the cavity. This last step is extremely important because it prevents future infection by protecting the tooth from being damaged by harmful bacteria. The majority of dentists provide either silver or white fillings to treat cavities; however, there has recently been a rise in concern over whether the use of silver amalgam is safe for patients. Since we believe in providing holistic, non-toxic dental care at Dental Studio of Pasadena, here is an overview of everything you should know about this topic!
What is Mercury?
Mercury is a naturally occurring metallic element that is found in the volcanoes, ore, and fossil fuels. It is liquid at room temperature and becomes a gas when heated. According to the World Health Organization, this can be a major problem because mercury can be toxic on the nervous, digestive, and immune system. Even small amounts of exposure can result in serious health problems, so if mercury contaminates the air or water, it can be deadly to humans.
All About Silver Fillings
Silver amalgam refers to a mix of metals including silver, tin, copper, etc. Dentists use it to fill cavities by mixing the alloy with mercury into putty and placing it in the cavity. It then molds to the perfect shape to fill the cavity and quickly hardens. For a long time, silver amalgam was extremely popular because of its durability and strength. While the American Dental Association has stated that silver filling are safe despite the use of mercury, many patients are still concerned about the negative effects of any mercury being placed into their body.
Regardless, patients often choose to replace their silver fillings anyway because silver fillings are not as natural looking as other options. They can also cause an unpleasant reaction if there are any substances containing aluminum or tin in the mouth.
If you don’t want to risk any unnecessary exposure to mercury, there are alternatives to silver fillings that work just as well. Most holistic dental practices provide composite resin, porcelain, and gold. These options contain no mercury at all! Composite resin, in particular, is quite popular because the white filling is affordable and matches the color of natural teeth.
How to Replace Your Fillings
If you suffer from gum disease or weak teeth, the ADA recommends keeping your silver amalgam fillings because doing otherwise could result in unnecessary tooth loss and expose you to mercury vapor. If you have strong, healthy teeth, however, and your silver fillings are showing signs of wear, go ahead and call your dentist for an appointment!
The process of replacing a silver filling can be safely done in a single appointment. The first step is to remove the mercury by drilling it out and suctioning any remaining mercury left from the cavity. Then, the patient’s mouth is thoroughly cleaned and replaced with the patient’s choice of alternative filling. Our dentist at Dental Studio of Pasadena has the proper equipment and training to ensure that mercury will not be released into the environment. The patient will be provided with clean, filtered air throughout the whole process. Safety is our first priority and we will make sure you’re taken care of!
If you are interested in replacing your fillings, we’re here to help. Dental Studio of Pasadena is a holistic dental practice that is dedicated to providing quality dental care that is also beneficial to our patient’s entire well being.