(703) 549-1331 • Alexandria Medical Building 312 S Washington St Ste 5A Alexandria, VA 22314

Why Our Practice Offers Amalgam-Free Dentistry

With current technologies of dental adhesion, state-of-the-art ceramics and resins, the latest bonded restorations will be close to rivaling nature in strength, wear, performance and look. With these new materials, it is easy to bond teeth together again, basically restoring them to their virgin strength minus the invasiveness of complete-coverage crowns. Normally, metal fillings can be replaced with techniques which are a better solution to mercury/silver amalgam fillings. It is, therefore, possible to maintain the healthy, remaining tooth composition, instead of grinding it down for a crown.

Almost everything wears away, and your silver fillings will not be any different. They hold up against tense and heavy biting forces each day, and as they age, they break, leak and may result in damaging fractures on teeth. After some time, metal amalgam fillings have the ability to soak up water, causing them to swell and break free from the teeth. When this occurs, your tooth is more at risk of tooth decay and tenderness.

Mercury/Silver fillings have some other significant disadvantages that ought to be thought of when it’s time to swap your restorations:

  • Longman_Amalgam_FillingsSilver fillings are much less attractive than tooth-colored fillings. Think about it, they don’t look anything like real teeth.
  • Amalgam grows and contracts when subjected to cold and hot extremes within your mouth. The continuous expansion and contraction through temperature may set off cracks and fractures in your teeth. There might not be any indicators for a while, yet these teeth may become sensitive as the fracture increases or opens if you bite down or chew. It’s not unusual for patients to come in questioning the way they broke their tooth while they were eating something soft similar to bread or a banana. What they don’t realize is that the tooth most likely had a fracture in it a long time before it finally came apart.
  • Silver fillings under continuous chewing force are prone to metal fatigue or flexing and bending failure, a concept which is often fully understood and demonstrated by repeatedly bending a paperclip until it breaks.
  • Metal fillings are harder and far less flexible compared to the teeth they’re molded into. The longer they are on the teeth, the greater force they put on the remaining weak outer surfaces of the tooth bringing about fractures and cracks.
  • Metal fillings are not glued into the tooth cavity. They only sit in the surrounding tooth and react under pressure to split the tooth apart, just like a metal wedge is used to split logs for firewood.
  • A microscopic gap around the filling edge exists from the moment the silver filling is plugged into the tooth; and within this gap, constant corrosion and leakage takes place. This gap is big enough to allow bacteria and food particles to enter in with time and bring about tooth decay at the border between the filling and the tooth. Composite fillings, however, are actually glued to the tooth surfaces and seal the margins closed from bacterial invasion.
  • To be able to get a tooth ready for a composite filling, the actual tooth can be treated a lot more gently and with less healthy tooth structure needing to be removed. And thus, the dentist can retain the highest amount of healthy tooth structure as possible
  • Silver fillings call for drilling undercuts (think carving out a pumpkin) along with taking away larger good parts out of the tooth in order to keep the mercury amalgam filling from falling out as it is not attached right to the tooth. These kinds of undercuts could also compromise the tooth as fillings get bigger and doom that tooth to upcoming fracture down the road. These fractures could be significant resulting in crowning the tooth to restore it or perhaps major fractures bringing about extraction of the tooth.
  • Composites, utilizing their opportunity to be conservative and making use of their gluelike attributes, may strengthen and protect against fracture. By simply intercepting the opportunity for cracking prior to experiencing the symptoms of hot/cold sensitivity as well as biting discomfort, completely new conservative solutions like tooth-colored fillings or porcelain-bonded restorations are actually protecting against the negative effects of toothaches and broken teeth.
  • Finally, a growing number of dentists believe that, bonded natural-colored restoratives are probably safer than standard fillings, given that they do not contain any mercury. While the American Dental Association (ADA) states the utilization of mercury in metal fillings is harmless, there is certainly an ongoing debate in the dental industry concerning the side effects of those mercury amalgam fillings. Many European countries have banned the utilization of mercury amalgam fillings to avoid any risks linked to mercury.

Utilizing a PROACTIVE instead of a REACTIVE method to amalgam replacement is really a choice many patients hope to have our practice follow.