September 30, 2017
Ask most adults about their cavity status, and they probably have at least one silver spot somewhere on their teeth. These amalgam fillings were long used as the standard for restoring cavities — but recent concerns regarding mercury exposure leave a lot of people wanting to have them replaced.
Dentistry is best and most successful when it is done with your overall health in mind, and that’s why holistic dentists often recommend replacing silver fillings for those made of biocompatible tooth-colored materials. Keep reading to learn more from your trusted holistic dentist in Lake Highlands.
The Dangers of Amalgam Fillings
Dental amalgam is composed of liquid mercury and metal alloys. It has traditionally been used to fill the holes, or cavities, left by tooth decay. While the Food and Drug Administration has not banned the use of amalgam in dentistry, we cannot rule out the threat of mercury exposure over time. The risk is especially high for pregnant women, as mercury can cross the placenta and cause harm to mother and baby.
Because amalgam is more sensitive to heat and cold, it also frequently expands and contracts, placing the surrounding tooth enamel under undue pressure. Chips and breaks may be difficult to detect beneath the dark filling, even on an x-ray. A leaking filling can allow decay to grow unchecked, posing a threat to overall health.
Fortunately, amalgam fillings can be safely replaced — even before they cause problems — by a holistic dentist.
The Process for Filling Replacement
Special care must be taken during an amalgam filling replacement. The area must be blocked off and fans and suction devices are used to ensure mercury fumes do not enter into the body. Your dentist will use special tools and a careful approach to ensure the filling is removed from the tooth safely.
Once an amalgam filling is taken out, it needs to be replaced with something to ensure tooth decay does not continue and that you can keep using the tooth like you’re used to. A mostly healthy tooth can receive a new composite resin filling. Composite resin is a tooth colored material made of smooth plastic and glass particles. If the old silver filling was damaged and there is not enough healthy enamel remaining to place a filling, a metal-free crown or inlay/onlay may be used instead.
Don’t Hesitate for Your Health
If you are contemplating a filling replacement but wondering whether or not you should wait until your silver filling causes a problem first, talk to your dentist about the need for preventive replacement. The benefits include:
- Removing silver fillings eliminates risk of mercury exposure
- Replacement is safe and effective
- Preemptive replacement prevents more significant issues later on
- Procedure is completed in a single visit
- Overall benefit to systemic wellbeing
Contact your dentist to discuss the pros and potential considerations of filling replacement. Doing so could make a big difference for your lasting health.
About the Author
Dr. Ellis L. Ramsey has been delivering superior care for the Dallas area for over 20 years. To learn more about filling replacement or to go ahead and schedule an appointment with a trusted holistic dentist, you are invited to contact the office at (214) 348-7090.
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