19 Jun 2017
Dental amalgam, otherwise known as mercury or silver fillings, has been a popular cavity solution for more than 150 years, due to its low cost and durability. However, recent studies have raised concerns over the health problems caused by dental amalgam,
Dental amalgam, otherwise known as mercury or silver fillings, has been a popular cavity solution for more than 150 years, due to its low cost, ease of placement into a cavity and durability. However, recent studies have raised concerns over the health problems caused by dental amalgam, and many people are opting for more natural-looking and safer fillings, with some choosing to remove their amalgam altogether. It has to be said that there is much debate globally about how safe mercury amalgam fillings are. Some countries have banned the use of amalgam because the mercury polutes rivers and waterways and is deemed to not be environmentally frindly
New dental technologies have enabled the development of alternatives that include composite resin white fillings, dental crowns and porcelain overlays. At Hobsonville Point Dental, when placing a filling, we only use environmentally safe and more aesthetically pleasing white composite resin fillings , and infact Andrea has been mercury amalgam free since 1999. If you’re thinking of removing and replacing your silver fillings with a more appealing white composite filling, you can contact us on (09)320 0504.
Despite being called a ‘silver filling’, dental amalgams are a powdered alloy of silver, tin, zinc, copper which you then mix with mercury. Recent studies have shown that high levels of mercury are toxic to the body, but it is used in amalgam because it makes the other filling materials malleable. When mixed with an alloy powder, it creates a compound that is soft enough to mould into the tooth, and then hardens immediately into a tough, durable filling.
Due to its metal content, silver fillings are opaque in x-rays, making it hard to identify cavities below the filling. Industry experience has shown that without x-rays, only as much as 50% of these dental issues are visible during an examination and full x-rays will only display 80-85% of issues. So not only are dental amalgams not ideal for your mouth, they can also mask further dental problems such as tooth decay by hiding the symptoms.
Today, there are many filling materials to choose from. Your cavities can be filled with gold, porcelain, or our preferred choice – natural tooth-coloured composite resin fillings. Composite or white fillings are a combination of tooth-coloured plastic and glass that are free of toxic substances. They are customizable to match your teeth, so they’re not only ideal for restoring decayed teeth, but are great for cosmetic improvements too.
Hobsonville Point Dental use improved tooth-coloured composite resin fillings and advanced dental bonding techniques to mimic the strength and appearance of your original tooth. These composite white resin restorations are very strongly bonded to your teeth and can make the tooth almost as strong as it was before decay occurred if the decay is caught early enough. Unlike amalgam fillings, these distribute the force of biting and chewing evenly across the tooth structure, reducing the likelihood of fractures or cracks in the future.
If you want to cosmetically improve your smile or have health concerns regarding an existing amalgam, our experienced staff can discuss with you the safe and easy removal of silver fillings at a confidential consultation. Silver fillings are removed by isolating the tooth with a rubber mask called rubber dam and then removing the amalgam filling, in a safe and controlled manner.
At Hobsonville Point Dental, we can remove one or more silver fillings during a single visit. We use metal free alternatives to replace the amalgams with either tooth-coloured composite resin or porcelain CAD/CAM E4d overlays, onlays and crowns.
For fillings and other dental services, book an appointment with us today.