Composite resin fillings are strong and durable. While amalgam (a mix of metals) has been used in dentistry to repair cavities since the 19th century, it still contains mercury, which studies have shown can be toxic for sensitive patients.
Tooth-colored fillings offer many benefits over amalgam that improve the health and look of your smile. If you are considering having your fillings replaced, understanding these benefits, as well as the choices you have, can help you make an informed decision.
Are Amalgam Fillings Bad for You?
A combination of silver, mercury, tin, and copper is used to make amalgam fillings. These materials effectively restore tooth structure while remaining durable. While strong and long-lasting, amalgam is easily detectable in the smile and can increase sensitivity to hot or cold foods and beverages.
Reports detailing the negative effects of mercury on systemic health have led some dentists to discontinue the use of amalgam due to the possible complications associated with metal restorations.
There is controversy to this stance due to the FDA and the ADA continuing to support amalgam as being a safe choice, while amalgam-free proponents feel strongly about the health risks of metal fillings. This divide leaves dentists and patients to consider for themselves the potential threat metal fillings pose to overall health.
Things to Consider
The amount of mercury in amalgam fillings is of the most concern. While our bodies can process a limited amount of mercury, even small amounts can have a detrimental effect on vulnerable patients, including those with autoimmune disorders or allergies to metal.
More dentists and patients are choosing composite fillings instead of amalgam for their mercury-free nature, durability, and ability to closely match the color of natural teeth. Composite fillings protect the tooth from decay, restore its strength, and last up to twenty years.
Certainly, the first step is to choose composite resin fillings in the future. Depending on the number of fillings you have, you might first choose to replace old fillings, as they may already be failing or soon will. Or, if you don’t have that many, you can choose to have them all replaced at the same time. Also remember that the more metal fillings you have, the more mercury you are being exposed to.
Learn More by Calling our Amalgam-Free, Spokane Dental Office
At Dental Care of Spokane, we value your overall well-being and provide composite fillings for Spokane, South Hill, Moran Prairie, and all surrounding areas. The team at our amalgam-free dental practice is committed to offering healthy alternatives for the overall well-being of patients.