Patients who have old, dark amalgam fillings may be concerned about the effects those restorations have on the appearance of their smiles. Fortunately, it is possible to remove amalgam fillings and replace them with tooth-colored composite restorations.
A holistic dentist offers a mercury-free alternative to amalgam fillings, which benefit patients in a number of ways beyond aesthetics, even if that is the primary consideration. For example, mercury free dentistry changes the way the filling responds to temperature changes, as amalgam fillings are more likely to contract and expand (and break or fracture as a result) than composite restorations are.
Mercury free dentistry also appeals to patients who have concerns about potential mercury toxicity. While the evidence of the effects of the mercury in fillings is unclear, many patients feel more at ease knowing that the possibility of mercury exposure has been eliminated.
When removing amalgam fillings to replace them with composite ones, the holistic dentist must take precautions to minimize the patient’s exposure to mercury vapors. The treatment room should have effective air filtration and the patient should wear any needed protective gear, among other safeguards. Be sure to ask your provider what steps are taken to protect you during the process.
After the amalgam fillings are removed, the holistic dentist can move forward with placing the composite restorations. If you’ve ever gotten a composite restoration, the process will be familiar to you. The composite materials are inserted into the space formerly occupied by the amalgam filling and then cured using a special light.
The composite materials have been improved significantly and may even be appropriate for cavities on the large chewing surfaces of the molars, which are exposed to more wear and tear than other teeth may be. However, in some relatively rare circumstances, amalgam fillings may still be preferred. Your dentist can advise you whether it’s best to keep your current fillings in place.
If you feel like old amalgam fillings are detracting from your smile, call our team at the office of Philip Kozlow, DDS, to schedule a consultation and learn about the alternatives as well as the treatment process.