If you did an analysis of your amalgam (silver) fillings, you’d find their main ingredient isn’t silver, but mercury. It started in the 1840s. Dentists discovered that a paste of silver and mercury pressed into a tooth with the decay removed would harden and was an easy and effective way to fill the cavity. Of course, they knew calling them silver fillings would be much better marketing. It was a remarkable breakthrough that served us well for over a century. Fortunately, we have something better now.
Advancements in Mercury-Free Fillings
In the 1980s two new advancements changed things completely.
First, a composite (white) filling material was developed that was strong enough to be used on back teeth.
Second, bonding technology advanced where we could now bond the material directly to the tooth.
Though the American Dental Association has declared that amalgam fillings are safe, patients worry. They don’t like the idea of putting mercury willingly into their body. Now they don’t have to.
Advantages of Mercury-Free Fillings
- Much less tooth structure has to be removed, protecting healthy tooth structure
- Composite fillings bond directly to the tooth, actually strengthening the tooth. Amalgam fillings weaken the tooth.
- There is significantly less post-operative sensitivity. Amalgam fillings conduct heat and cold from your food and beverages. That’s not an issue with composite fillings.
- As you can tell from the images above, a big bonus is that they look much more natural. Their color allows them to blend in with your teeth.
If you’re looking for a dentist who provides mercury-free options, you may call our office to schedule an appointment or click here to request an appointment online.