Traditionally, cavities have been filled with amalgam, a mixture of metals that includes mercury. In recent years, however, fillings that contain mercury have become increasingly controversial. Mercury can have toxic effects, potentially causing neurological problems. Scientists have theorized that the mercury found in fillings can vaporize and travel to other locations in the body. Now that a dentist can use newer, safer composite materials to fill cavities, patients have viable alternatives to mercury silver fillings. These composite fillings have improved over the past several years, and they have become quite durable, which was previously considered to be one advantage of amalgam. Modern composite fillings can even stand up to the significant forces placed on the molars!
Composite fillings are made of resins with additives, such as pulverized glass, that pose little, if any, risk to the body. Other materials used instead of mercury in dental fillings include glass ionomers and ceramics. Many patients are turning to their holistic dentist in Dallas for these safer cavity fillings. Although a holistic dentist focuses on the teeth and oral tissues, as all dentists do, practitioners in this specialty are also concerned with oral health as a component of the patient’s total well-being. Understandably, mercury-free fillings fit in well with this perspective. Composite fillings help patients to avoid the potentially negative physiological outcomes that may be associated with amalgam fillings. As an added bonus, mercury-free fillings are typically similar in color to enamel, helping them to blend in more with the patient’s natural smile. A dentist can also preserve a greater amount of the natural tooth material when using composites.
Although many patients initially come to holistic dentists to receive mercury-free fillings, these specialists are qualified to provide a wide variety of care, such as root canals and treatment for periodontal disease. If you are interested in less toxic dental treatments and enhancing your overall health by maintaining your oral health, contact the office of Dr. Philip R. Kozlow today.