Did you know that traditional “silver” fillings contain more mercury than silver? Most are almost 50 percent mercury, with the remaining material an amalgam of different metals, like silver, copper, and zinc.
Dr. Azarbal is a mercury-free dentist. His dental fillings are made of white composite resin, which provides a beautiful, cosmetic, and safe result.
Should I Be Worried About Mercury?
Mercury is a heavy metal that is highly toxic if ingested in any form. For years dentists and other health professionals believed that the mercury in amalgam dental fillings was not released into the body. Recent research has indicated that chewing pressures over time cause a small amount of mercury vapor to be released from dental fillings, which may result in incremental exposure over time.
There has never been any proven association between the mercury in dental fillings and any illness or reaction. However, since more has been learned about mercury exposure in other areas, many people are concerned about mercury exposure from dental work.
Mercury-Free Alternatives for Fillings
Newer composite resins are strong enough to be placed even in back teeth. They bond to the tooth itself and strengthen the tooth overall, which leads to a lower risk of breakage or future damage. They are metal-free and non-toxic. Patients with composite fillings also report less sensitivity to heat and cold than patients with traditional amalgam fillings.
Composite fillings are white and match the surrounding color of the teeth. Placement of composite fillings also requires less tooth preparation than a traditional amalgam filling, which means a smaller amount of material is needed to complete the filling.
It’s important to emphasize, however, that most dental schools do not train dentists to use composite fillings. Dentists must undergo significant post-graduate training to learn how to use these filling materials properly. Placement of composite fillings requires certain precautions in order for the material to bond correctly. Dr. Azarbal has completed extensive training in the proper use of these composite resins and is very comfortable placing them—so comfortable, they are the only kind of filling he performs.
Porcelain onlays and inlays—custom-made porcelain filliings—are another alternative. An impression of your tooth is taken to make an inlay for a cavity within the tooth, or an onlay for a cavity that extends to the top projections of your tooth.
If you are interested in mecury-free fillings, call us to schedule an appointment, or request an appointment online.