Amalgam Free Dentistry
Through current technologies of dental adhesion, state-of-the-art ceramics and resins, the newest bonded restorations are close to rivaling nature in durability, comfort, functionality and look. With these innovative materials, it is possible to bond teeth together again, practically restoring them back to their virgin strength but without the invasiveness of full-coverage crowns. Normally, metal fillings may be replaced with approaches that are safer than mercury/silver amalgam fillings. It is, therefore, a possibility to maintain the healthy, leftover tooth composition, rather than grinding it down for a crown.
Everything wears away, and your silver fillings will not be any exception. They endure tense and heavy biting forces each day, and as they age, they will split, leak and can also result in damaging fractures in teeth. With time, metal amalgam fillings have the ability to absorb water, causing them to swell and even break away from the tooth. When this happens, your tooth is far more prone to decay and sensitivity.
Mercury/Silver fillings share some other noted drawbacks that should be thought of when it is time for you to replace your restorations:
• Silver fillings are much less attractive than tooth-colored fillings. Everyone agrees, they scream out, “I am a metal filling put here because this person didn’t take care of their teeth very well!”
• Amalgam grows and shrinks when exposed to hot and cold extremes within your mouth. The constant expansion and shrinkage with temperature may set off cracks and fractures in teeth. There may not be any kind of indicators for a while, yet these teeth can become hypersensitive as the crack increases or opens whenever you bite down or chew. It is not unusual for patients to come in curious about the way they broke their tooth while they were eating something soft similar to a banana or slice of bread. What they don’t realize is that the tooth almost certainly had a crack in it well before it finally came apart.
• Silver fillings that are under continuous chewing force are prone to metal fatigue or bending and flexing failure, a concept that may be understood and demonstrated by continuously bending a metal paperclip until it eventually breaks.
• Metal fillings are much harder and less flexible compared to the teeth they’re wedged into. The longer they are in the teeth, the more pressure they will place on the rest of the weakened surfaces of the tooth bringing about cracks and fractures.
• Metal fillings are not glued in the tooth cavity. They simply sit in the tooth and act under pressure to wedge the tooth apart, similar to how a metal wedge is used to split logs into firewood.
• A minute gap surrounding the filling edge exists as soon as the silver filling is plugged into the tooth; and in this gap, constant corrosion and leakage occurs. This unnoticeable gap is large enough to allow harmful bacteria and food particles to enter in with time and result in decay at the margin between the filling and the tooth. Composite fillings, however, are essentially bonded to the tooth surface and seal the margins closed from bacterial invasion.
• To be able to get a tooth ready for a composite filling, the tooth can usually be treated a lot more gently and with less healthy tooth structure needing to be removed. And for that reason, the dentist can retain the highest amount of virgin tooth structure as possible
• Silver fillings require drilling undercuts (think carving out a pumpkin) and taking away more substantial healthy portions out from the tooth to be able to keep the mercury amalgam repair from falling out since it is not bonded straight to the tooth. These types of undercuts also can compromise the tooth as fillings get bigger and doom that particular tooth to subsequent cracking at some point. These fractures may be substantial leading to crowning the tooth to fix it or perhaps catastrophic fractures bringing about removal of the tooth.
• Composites, with their opportunity to be conservative and implementing their gluelike qualities, can strengthen and guard against fracture. Through intercepting the opportunity for fracturing before going through the hassles of hot and cold sensitivity and biting pain, completely new conservative treatment options such as tooth-colored restorations or porcelain-bonded restorations are actually reducing the unwanted effects of toothaches and broken teeth.
• Finally, many dentists say that, bonded tooth-colored restoratives are likely to be safer than standard fillings, simply because they don’t contain any mercury. Although the American Dental Association (ADA) suggests using mercury in metal fillings is harmless, there’s an ongoing debate in the dental industry concerning the unwanted effects of these mercury amalgam fillings. Many European countries have prohibited using mercury amalgam fillings to avoid any kind of risks linked to mercury.
Given the laundry list of negative effects associated, and potentially associated, with mercury amalgam fillings, it’s no wonder that patients are asking us to be PROACTIVE about extraction of mercury fillings instead of being REACTIVE and holding off until the tooth cracks or develops decay under the amalgam plug.