What is a filling?
Receiving a dental filling is a common procedure that many people have personally experienced. As a bit of a background, a filling becomes necessary when a tooth is damaged by decay and needs to be restored and protected. The function of a filling is to both seal off any spaces where bacteria could enter, and to reshape the tooth to its original form and function. Fillings are an invaluable part of dental work because they offer both a solution for present damage, and act as preventative guards against potential future damage.
A variety of materials are used to create fillings. There is no ‘best’ type of filling, and the right option for you is truly dependent on your individual case and personal preference.
Why remove a filling?
There are a few different reasons one may want to replace a filling, including a more natural look. Porcelain and composite resins look the most natural and are placed to match your tooth color, and it is not uncommon for those with gold and silver fillings to request these more subtle options. Each type of filling has its own lifespan, which can range from just a few years to several decades, so sometimes a routine replacement may also be in order.
However, in addition to appearance and time, there is also a debate surrounding the use of amalgam fillings.
The danger of amalgam fillings
By definition, the word ‘amalgam’ is synonymous with the words ‘mixture’ or ‘blend’. As an example, a smoothie would be considered an amalgam of fruits!
In the dental world, ‘amalgam’ as it is used to describe a filling indicates it is a mixture of materials – this means that silver fillings are not pure silver, they have other similar materials in them as well. The proposed problem with these fillings is that the material could contain toxic or harmful matter that could negatively affect your health. In many cases, the silver is mixed with mercury, so many worry about patients contracting mercury poisoning! Dental fillings are supposed to offer a health solution, not cause more health complications.
While it has yet to be proved for certain that amalgam material causes these problems, if there is any question about the safety of our patients – that’s not a risk we are willing to take. For that reason, we can remove amalgam fillings and offer certifiably safe alternatives to ensure you walk out of our office with a healthy smile.
Metal fillings are virtually a thing of the past and at Dean Cosmetic Dentistry, we have the technology to replace any unattractive metal fillings with natural looking tooth-colored fillings making them almost invisible to the naked eye.
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