3 Reasons to Choose a Composite Filling

When a tooth suffers an area of decay or damage, it must be repaired. Unless the repair is large enough to require a crown or onlay, the tooth can be restored in one of two ways: amalgam fillings or composite resin fillings. Amalgam fillings have been around since 1895 and include a combination of metals. Composite fillings, however, are a newer option in dental fillings. Composite is a ceramic and plastic compound that matches the color of your teeth. Many patients find that these tooth-colored or white fillings are a preferred solution in repairing cavities or even making minor cosmetic improvements to the teeth. In fact, it is not uncommon for patients to want their amalgam fillings replaced with this composite resin alternative.

If you can agree with the following, you may want to consider a dentist who offers composite fillings:

#1 You want your filling to blend in, not stand out.

The hallmark advantage of choosing composite resin is aesthetics. Instead of flashing a metal filling when you laugh or speak, you can opt for a tooth-colored filling that provides a seamless and inconspicuous blend within your natural smile.

#2 You don’t want metals or mercury in your mouth.

While it is still a large debate among dentists, there are a large majority of patients that simply want to avoid the potential dangers of having metal in their mouths. Amalgam fillings are made of 50% mercury. Mercury vapor can release or leak out from amalgam fillings, and many people are concerned about the toxicity of this element within the body. Furthermore, silver fillings may not be a good choice if you have an allergy to metal.

#3 You want to preserve as much healthy tooth structure as possible.

Unlike amalgam fillings, composite resin is very flexible and bonds directly to the surface of your tooth. This means that less drilling is required and more of your healthy tooth structure can be preserved.

Want to learn more about white fillings offered at Pure Dental Health? Please schedule your appointment. We value the importance of providing patient-preferred options when repairing tooth damage.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Justin Scott
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Pure Dental Health
2285 Peachtree Rd NE, Suite 203
Atlanta, GA 30309
Phone: (678) 666-3642

Types of Dental Fillings

There are a variety of different types of materials that can be used to fill cavities in the teeth including the following:

• gold

• silver amalgam

• composite

• ceramic

• glass ionomers

Some types of fillings are better suited for certain conditions.  When trying to decide which type of filling is best suited for you, you need to weigh the following factors:  location of cavity, severity of decay, cost and insurance coverage.  Your dentist is the best person to help you decide which type of dental filling best suits your needs.

Gold fillings are very sturdy, non-corrosive and can last up to 15 years, with proper care.  However, they are much more expensive than silver amalgam fillings and require more than one dental visit to be fitted correctly.  Silver amalgam fillings are also very strong and sturdy, however many individuals do not find them to be aesthetically pleasing.  In addition, they are more likely to expand and contract and to cause a tooth crack as compared to other types of fillings.  In addition, many individuals worry about the long-term safety of silver amalgam fillings since they contain Mercury: a known neurotoxin.  Composite fillings are an attractive option because they can be made to closely match the color of your teeth.  However, composite fillings are not as durable as silver amalgam fillings and are more expensive.  Ceramic fillings are made of porcelain and are also a very aesthetically pleasing option.  They are also very durable.  However, ceramic fillings cost more than silver amalgam fillings and can wear the opposing teeth if the porcelain becomes rough.  Glass ionomers (acrylic fillings) often last for less than five years but are a good choice for children if their teeth are changing.  They can also release fluoride which helps to prevent tooth decay.

For addition information about the different types of dental fillings or to determine which type of dental fillings is best suited to your needs, talk to your dentist today.

Posted on Behalf of Dr. Justin Scott, Pure Dental Health

Are You Tired of Your Old Silver Amalgam Fillings?

Are you tired of looking at a mouth full of metal whenever you open your mouth?  If you had silver amalgam fillings placed in your mouth to fill cavities and are tired of them, you are not alone.  Everyday, individuals all over the country have their old silver amalgam fillings removed and replaced with porcelain or composite, tooth-colored fillings.

Some people decide to make this change when their old silver amalgam fillings wear out or come loose. Instead of replacing them with amalgam, they elect to use porcelain or composite material.  Others proactively have their amalgam fillings removed and replaced with tooth colored materials for cosmetic reasons, or due to safety concerns.  Amalgam fillings contain Mercury: a know neurotoxin.  While the evidence is not conclusive at this time, many fear that exposure to Mercury from amalgam fillings could be harmful to your health.

The reason that amalgam has been used to fill cavities for years is because it is relatively inexpensive compared to other materials and lasts for a long time.  However, for some, the extra costs associated with porcelain or composite fillings are outweighed by the benefits:  peace of mind and a more natural appearance.

If you elect to have your amalgam fillings removed and replaced with a different type of material, it is important to find a dentist who is qualified and experienced with this procedure.  You want to make sure that your dentist follows the necessary safety protocols that will limit your exposure to Mercury vapors during the removal process.  For more information about the process of removing and replacing Amalgam fillings, talk to your dentist today.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Justin Scott, Pure Dental Health


Debate Continues Over The Safety of Amalgam Fillings

For years now, there has been an ongoing debate regarding the safety of amalgam dental fillings.  Amalgam fillings contain Mercury, a known neurotoxin.  For this reason, many worry that exposure to Mercury vapors emitted from Amalgam fillings could be harmful, particularly to children and pregnant women.  In 2009, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released their findings after examining the safety of amalgam fillings.  Their final regulation in 2009 classified dental amalgam into Class II (moderate risk).

Many feel that this ruling did not go far enough.  Due to this controversy, the FDA agreed to re-examine this issue in 2011.  At this point, they have not changed their ruling regarding dental amalgam.  However, due to safety concerns, many dentists are choosing to offer only Mercury-free fillings.  And, many consumers are choosing to have their cavities filled using only materials that do not contain Mercury (porcelain, composite, etc.).  Some consumers are even going as far as having their amalgam fillings removed and replaced with composite or porcelain fillings.

Amalgam fillings provide a relatively inexpensive and long-lasting means for filling decayed teeth.  For these reasons, dentists have been using amalgam to fill cavities for decades.  However, many patients are now choosing materials such as porcelain and composite over amalgam due to both safety concerns and a desire for a more natural appearance.

If you are going to have your amalgam fillings removed, it is important that you go to a dentist who is highly trained and uses the highest precautions to decrease your exposure to Mercury vapors during the process of removing the amalgam fillings.  For more information about amalgam fillings, talk to a dentist in your local area.

Posted on the Behalf of Pure Dental Health.


What To Do About Your Silver Amalgam Fillings

If you have old silver amalgam fillings in your mouth, you may be wondering whether or not you should have them removed and replaced with another type of filling material such as composite resin or porcelain.  You may have heard about the safety concerns surrounding silver amalgam fillings due to the fact that they contain Mercury: a powerful neurotoxin.  At certain levels, exposure to Mercury can cause neurological issues, autoimmune disease, chronic illnesses and mental disorders.  The important question to ask is whether or not the quantity of Mercury vapor in our silver amalgam fillings and a constant exposure poses a significant health risk.  This question is currently being debated among dental professionals all over the world.

In the past, silver amalgam was the primary material used to fill dental cavities.  This is because silver amalgam is relatively inexpensive compared to other materials and is extremely durable.  In the past, most people were not aware of the fact that silver amalgam fillings contain Mercury.  Today, most people are aware of this fact and are also aware of the risks associated with Mercury exposure.  For this reason, many people are opting for dental fillings made from different materials such as composite resin and porcelain.  Others are choosing theses options because composite resin and porcelain fillings can both be made to closely match the color of your teeth for a more natural and attractive appearance.

If you are worried about your old silver amalgam fillings and are interested in having them removed and replaced with materials that do not contain Mercury, talk to your dentist today.  If you do decide to have them removed, it is important that you visit a dentist who is familiar with this process and follows the guidelines established to protect you from exposure to Mercury vapor while they are being removed.

Posted on the Behalf of Pure Dental Health.