Bakersfield, CA – If you needed cavities replaced years ago, chances are you’ve got some silver in your mouth. These amalgam fillings were the most commonly used to restore teeth. The major component of these fillings is mercury, however, and over the years, some people have been concerned about the idea of having mercury in their mouths.
Today, composite dental fillings are becoming more common place. For a long time, many believed that resin composite wasn’t as strong as the metal fillings, so dentists stayed away from offering them. However today, technology has advanced so much that tooth colored restorations are able to rival their natural counterparts in appearance, strength, wear and function.
Before we debate which way is better, let’s first discuss the safety of amalgam fillings. As we become more health conscious, we become more wary of what foreign substances we allow into our bodies. However, dental amalgam has been proven safe and effective for more than 150 years. It is not only safe, but also a durable and inexpensive way to restore teeth.
People are concerned about having the mercury that is the main composition of the dental amalgam in their bodies. But when the mercury is combined with the other agents found in the amalgam, its chemical nature changes, rendering it harmless. While mercury can be released over time due to the effects of biting and grinding your teeth, it is a miniscule amount that is not dangerous.
The American Dental Association continues to believe dental amalgam is a safe, affordable and durable option for patients who need cavities filled, and the Food and Drug Administration does not believe anyone with older amalgam fillings should be concerned with having them removed.
But which is right for you? As a cosmetic dentist, my job is to provide you with a functional smile that is also beautiful. And ugly metal showing in your mouth just can’t provide the esthetic quality that resin composite fillings can. With today’s technology that utilizes cutting edge dental adhesions, resins and lasers, there is no reason why you have to settle for amalgam fillings any more.
Using resin composite, I can restore your tooth while protecting it against further breakage and damage. These composite fillings allow me to be more conservative in my restorations because they bond directly to the tooth. That means I don’t have to remove as much healthy tooth as I would have to in order to adequately fill a tooth with metal.
In fact, we see many patients who suffer additional breakage in teeth with older amalgam fillings. That’s because the dentist has to remove a significant amount of healthy tooth in order to properly fill the cavity. And over time, with the pressure of biting down, a tooth weakened by this is more susceptible to breaking.
So, if you’re in need of restoration and are wondering if amalgam or resin is right for you, I suggest resin composite. It can provide beautiful, natural looking results that are strong enough to last the test of time.
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