There is still public debate over whether the old school mercury fillings that most baby boomers received when they were in their formative years are safe. But there’s no debate among the Las Vegas dentist community or in the medical world at large.
The American Dental Association (ADA) has cited numerous studies, including one as recently as September 2016 that suggests the more mercury fillings you have, the more the level of mercury in your body rises.
Why is this important?
Mercury is a toxin. The FDA has cautioned pregnant and nursing women to be careful in consumption of certain fish who have shown to have higher levels of mercury.
The mercury in your amalgam (silver) fillings was typically made up of copper, mercury, silver, and other elemental metals. Scientists have proven that mercury vapor is released from these fillings as they age, which could cause health problems.
Replacing Amalgam Fillings
Fortunately, modern dentistry has a safer and more attractive alternative to the cosmetically unappealing silver fillings our parents had. Composite resin restorations can last longer than amalgam fillings, are safer and are tooth-colored, which is certainly more aesthetically pleasing. Composite resin fillings actually bond to your tooth, strengthening it for years to come.Here are key reasons why we prefer composite resin fillings to amalgam:
Here are key reasons why we prefer composite resin fillings to amalgam:
- Safer than mercury-based materials.
- More cosmetically pleasing.
- Makes the remaining tooth stronger.
- Less of the tooth has to be removed to add the composite.
- Is smoother than amalgam fillings, which makes it harder for food to accumulate.
- Much easier to repair – chips and rough edges can be smoothed over.
- Better material for sealing the teeth from future decay.
- Quicker procedure – you’ll be surprised at how quickly you can eat normally on the new fillings.
In addition to the chemical makeup of the materials in the amalgam filling, amalgam fillings are not bonded to your teeth in the same way composite resin restorations are. They do not strengthen teeth, instead, we often see cracking in the tooth along with early fractures actually caused by how the metal was inserted into the tooth.
The key to living safely with silver fillings is knowing when it’s time to replace them. Routine preventative checkups will help you monitor the status of the fillings for chipping, cracking, or other issues that could cause you problems down the road. Good dental hygiene requires a Las Vegas dentist with the expertise to know exactly when it’s time to make a change.
Dr. Hadley suggests periodic check-ups, including x-rays to determine bone health and to proactively head off decay before it arises. Dental cleanings allow our trained hygienists to deep clean your gums and teeth. Our gentle technique removes built up plaque and tarter and accumulated stains from coffee and tea. Dr. Hadley will review the findings of the hygiene visit and inspect all your fillings, teeth, and gums.
Contact your Las Vegas dentist, Jeffery W. Hadley, D.D.S., today to schedule your next preventive treatment or to discuss the procedure for replacing your amalgam fillings with composite resin restorations.