This is a very common question and it’s one that is difficult to give a definitive yes or no answer. Although there has been no conclusive research that shows that silver mercury fillings are harmful to your health (regarding mercury leaking), in our experience we have seen a lot of problems that occur underneath these old fillings. These are problems are not easily observed from the surface or with X-Rays and is primarily to do with decay getting under the fillings and cracks in the teeth.
A common misconception is that a silver or mercury filling will last forever. Amalgam is one of the most durable filling materials, but amalgam fillings don’t last forever. Some may last for more than a decade, but others can begin to fail in as little as few years. At some point in time, the filling loses its “seal”. Just like a cork in a wine bottle. When the cork is no longer sealing out the air, the wine spoils. Similarly, when a filling is no longer sealed, a tiny, microscopic gap forms between the tooth and the filling.
Commen Reasons For Failing Amalgam Fillings ( Mercury) !
Since silver fillings are opaque on X-Rays, it’s difficult to see a cavity under these fillings until they are quite extensive. Research has shown that when you’re examining a patient with silver fillings, if you don’t use any X-Rays you can see 50% of what is going on and with a full set of X-Rays you will still only see about 80 – 85% of what’s going on. So there is 15% – 20% of cavities that we won’t be able to see because the metal blocks out this damage.
Amalgam Mercury Fillings Leak
Amalgam fillings swell when they absorb the natural moisture in your mouth. This expansion creates a wedging effect in the tooth that fractures or breaks off the tooth structure. This expansion can also lift the surface of the filling slightly in the tooth, creating a gap at the margin between the filling and the tooth. Temperature changes in the mouth can make the amalgam both expand and contract, creating many small gaps or micro-fractures in the tooth or filling.
Another factor to consider is the cracks in the teeth, which also won’t show on X-Rays at all. It is very common in people in their 40’s or 50’s. As most mercury fillings were placed over a decade ago, they start to show sign of hypersensitivity to heat and cold which is the classic sign of cracks coming off these teeth. And as the crack gets deeper, the sensitivity intensifies, which means that it is getting closer to the nerve. Hence the need for root canal treatment and a tooth crown
The Advantages Of Tooth Coloured Fillings
As composites have evolved, they have become the restoration of choice for fillings. In our office, we only use composite restorations for fillings because we can perform a better, more conservative, safer, and more cosmetically pleasing treatment.
If placed properly, a composite filling can last longer than amalgam fillings and accomplish conservative treatments not possible with amalgam fillings. Composite fillings only replace the portions of your teeth that have been damaged and no additional reduction of healthy areas of your teeth is required.
Supports The Tooth structure
Composite restorations are bonded to your teeth. When properly placed with maximum bond strength, the composite restoration can strengthen the weakened tooth. It reinforces remaining tooth structure and prevents wedging forces from causing cracks and fractures with repeated chewing
blends in naturally , it can easily be repaired- any chips can easily be repaired seamlessly with surface roughening and addition of composite
Dedicated To Creating And Preserving Beautiful Smiles In A safe And Secure Environment
At our Holistic Dental practice, your safety is our top concern. Years ago, it was common for dentists to use materials containing mercury in procedures such as tooth fillings. Mercury, even in small amounts, has been shown to have potential health risks. Our cosmetic dentists only utilise mercury-free composite materials for dental fillings, which are not only safer for our patients, but also creates a more natural, “tooth-coloured” effect. By eliminating mercury-based materials, we are able to minimize toxins and reduce hazardous waste, ultimately helping our patients and the environment.