Are you tired of dealing with dental cavities?
There's no way you can reverse a tooth cavity, but you can restore a damaged tooth by undergoing a dental filling procedure. Dental fillings are artificial materials that fill holes in decayed, broken, or damaged teeth.
According to the CDC, over half of Americans over age 35 have at least one amalgamated filling in their mouth. However, before receiving a dental filling, you must know all filling options.
Out of all the options available, metal fillings are one of the most used options, but do you know what metal fillings are?
What Are Metal Fillings?
Metal fillings, also known as silver fillings, are used by dentists to fill cavities. Several metallic elements combine to form a metal filling. According to the FDA, a metal filling has approximately 50% elemental mercury because the chemical property of elemental mercury reacts and binds with other metals to form an amalgam.
How harmful can mercury be for your health?
Mercury is a toxic substance that accumulates in human tissue and can cause numerous adverse health effects, including damage to nerve function, blood vessels, skin, eyes, kidneys, and more.
Even though dentists have always used mercury fillings for the longest time, these fillings can weaken tooth enamel and even break teeth due to excessive stress on weakened enamel. More than half of all tooth fractures involve teeth with dental restorations (fillings).
The ADA now recommends that people who have silver fillings be monitored for symptoms of mercury toxicity, which may include chronic fatigue, muscle weakness, and tremors. They also declare those metal fillings not safe for pregnant women as they can pass on mercury to their unborn children through their placentas.
Yet despite these risks, some dentists continue to use silver fillings because they're inexpensive and easy to install. Unfortunately, there's no way for patients or their doctors to know if a filling contains mercury without taking it out of your mouth and sending it off for testing—which most people aren't willing or able to do.
However, Trident is an exception because we prioritize your safety and well-being. We don't believe that just because something is cheaper and widely popular doesn't mean it's safe and suitable.
Why are metal fillings bad?
Not to scare you, but did you know that if you have metal fillings, you are constantly chewing a small amount of mercury? Around 2 to 20 micrograms a day. The percentage may increase when you enjoy a cup of hot coffee or chewing gum.
A study conducted by the University of Washington states that the slow low-level release of mercury into the body may lead to mercury poising and a wide range of other problems like insomnia, headaches, respiratory issues, kidney complications, and even brain damage.
Here are a few reasons that why you should get rid of your metal fillings:
1. Amalgams break teeth: Amalgams significantly weaken your teeth. The more extensive the filling is, the weaker your tooth becomes. In fact, in some cases, it is also seen that composite fillings start developing cracks right by the side of the fillings after several years of wear and tear.
2. Tooth sensitivity: The biggest problem with metal fillings is sensitivity. If your tooth is sensitive to cold, you know how painful it can be when that first chilly sip of water hits your tooth enamel.
3. Frequent tooth removal: Amalgamated fillings cannot bond properly with the tooth structure, and they require an adequate area to withstand breakage. As a result, to make space for the amalgam fillings, you might have to remove the adjacent tooth, which increases the chances of future issues.
5. Clunky look: You hate a clunky tooth appearance, and that's what a composite filling looks like. The metal filling makes the tooth appear greyish, and it may also stain the remaining tooth structure.
What's the best alternative?
Porcelain fillings are a better option than outdated mercury fillings if you're looking to improve your smile. Porcelain fillings are the best substitute for ugly-looking mercury fillings as they give a natural appearance and are more durable than composite fillings. It can effectively alleviate tooth sensitivity to cold and heat because of a smooth surface that reduces friction.
Why do dentists still use metal fillings?
Dentists around the globe have always used metal fillings for more than 150 years now because they are:
• Easy to use
However, in 2008 the American Dental Association (ADA) banned the use of amalgamated fillings in a few countries owing to the side effect it causes.
We are not ready to compromise your dental health over cost-effective options! So, keeping all these side effects in mind, Trident prefers using porcelain fillings as they are durable, safe to use, and do not put extra strain on your teeth.
We don't believe in a one-size-fits-all strategy. One of our greatest strengths at Trident Smiles Dental is our ability to customize treatment plans for each patient. That means we consider all factors—from dental history to lifestyle habits—when creating a treatment plan for each patient.
We'll be happy to walk you through your options and help you find a solution that fits within your budget.