The Yuba City Dentistry Group works hard to provide excellent dental care that is up to date with modern dental procedures. For example, it is now common practice to replace worn amalgam fillings with tooth-colored composite fillings instead. Why do our Yuba City family dentists recommend this?
Problems with Amalgam Fillings
Amalgam silver fillings have repaired dental cavities for over a hundred years. Usually made from mercury, silver, tin and copper, amalgam is very strong and durable, so fillings made from this combination of materials can last a long time. Nevertheless, the younger the dentist, the more likely they are to use tooth-colored resins, known as composite materials, to fill teeth and fix cavities. What has led to this generational change in dentistry, when amalgam is still available?
Heavy Metal and Your Teeth
You likely noticed the word “mercury” in that list of ingredients for amalgam silver fillings. Despite the fact that by itself this metal is toxic, poisoning is not considered to be a concern by the ADA, although it does happen on a very rare basis. All the same, the Yuba City Dentistry Group prefers to use composites because they are strong, durable and the color is the same as natural teeth. Plus, they present absolutely no risk from heavy metal toxicity.
Amalgam fillings are also very rigid. This makes them durable, but it may lead to gaps between the filling and the tooth as both age together. Of course, this leads to further decay. Amalgam is also prone to cracking, which may affect the tooth as well.
Composite resin fillings are naturally more flexible, saving a patient from many of the potential problems that come with amalgam. They also do not use a material that is damaging to the environment in its raw form. Plus, avoiding amalgam limits the presence of toxic substances in our dental practice.
Should I Replace My Fillings?
The Yuba City Dentistry Group replaces amalgam fillings when requested and the health of the tooth would not be compromised. For fillings that are worn beyond dental standards, we always recommend replacement to prevent complications. If you have silver amalgam fillings, feel free to contact us to discuss whether replacement with composite resin is necessary.