Dental amalgam is the silver material used to restore a tooth when decay mandates the tooth be filled. This was the norm for decades until different materials were introduced that served the same purpose without the concerns. Fears over the contents of amalgam have led many dental offices to offer mercury free dentistry.
Many patients were unaware that the material used to repair dental cavities contained the highly toxic mercury. Although the ADA has assured the public that the use of amalgam is safe, several alternatives are also available.
One of the most popular restorative materials used today is composite resin. This tooth colored plastic contains no toxic materials; provides added strength to the treated tooth; and is durable. It does take longer to fill a tooth with composite, but much less of the structure of the tooth requires removal than what is needed when using dental amalgam.
While some patients prefer a gold filling, this process is used less often and can require more than one visit to complete treatment.
Another material available is a substance using glass ionomer. This is a combination of crushed glass and acrylic, and is not considered as durable as composite resin.
In addition to treating dental decay, your dentist has many uses for tooth colored fillings. The resin material can be used to cover stain; repair a chipped tooth; add substance to a tooth that has been worn down from grinding; and cosmetically enhance misshapen teeth.
Patients concerned with aesthetics will typically opt for composite resin. Your dentist has the ability to match the shape and color of surrounding teeth making a repair virtually undetectable. This is especially important when the tooth requiring repair is in the smile line. But thanks to the versatility and strength of composite resin, this material is suitable for use in all tooth locations.
Caring for any dental filling is the same. Brushing and flossing daily is important; but twice yearly visits to the dentist will monitor existing restorations for cracks and correct any additional decay.
To learn more about your mercury free dental options, contact the office of Dr. Philip Kozlow at 972-458-2464 and schedule your visit today.