For many years, amalgam has been the most popular material used by dentists to fill dental cavities. This is because it is relatively inexpensive as compared to other materials and is extremely durable. However, many in the dental profession are moving away from amalgam fillings. In fact, there are a number of dental practices located all over the country who have decided to no longer offer silver amalgam fillings. Instead, they are using materials such as porcelain and composite resin to fill cavities for their patients.
This change has come about due to both cosmetic and safety concerns. There is no doubt that porcelain and composite resin fillings are more attractive than silver amalgam fillings because they are tooth colored and can be made to closely match the color of natural teeth. After all, no one wants to look at a mouth full of metal every time they open their mouth. Even if your silver amalgam fillings are in the back of your mouth, they can still show when you laugh or smile. For this reason alone, many individuals are choosing to have their old silver amalgam fillings removed and replaced with natural looking porcelain or composite resin fillings.
Aside from the cosmetic concerns, other dentists and consumers alike are concerned about the safety of silver amalgam fillings. This is because amalgam filings contain Mercury: a known neurotoxin. While the evidence is not conclusive at this time, many worry that continued exposure to Mercury vapors from amalgam fillings can cause serious long-term health problems. Others are simply not comfortable having a known Neurotoxin placed so close to their brains.
If your old silver amalgam fillings are slipping or broken, this would be a good time to have them replaced with either porcelain or composite resin. Even if they are still functional, you may want to consider making this change to improve the appearance of your smile or to prevent long-term health problems. If this is the case, it is vitally important for you to find a dentist who is experienced in the safe removal of silver amalgam fillings. Dentists who are qualified to remove silver amalgam fillings employ certain safety precautions and protocols in order to limit your exposure to mercury vapors during the removal process.
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