Mercury Fillings Removal Boise - White Fillings Meridian - Eagle

Information about mercury fillings and the dangers associated with them. Learn about mercury filling removal in Boise, Meridian and Eagle, Idaho and replace with white fillings ( composite fillings)

ARE METAL FILLINGS DANGEROUS? This is one of the most common questions we get in our dental office. It has been a controversial subject in dentistry and the public, as well as the FDA, have had changing views.
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Mercury fillings have been used for over 150 years. Although mercury is a dangerous material it is combined with silver alloy to create amalgam fillings.

Amalgam today is still used by most dental offices. This is because it is a very strong and long-lasting material. It is also very easily placed which is why it is so commonly used.

Today dentistry has more choices for fillings, including gold, composites (tooth colored plastic), or porcelain. Each has it's own advantages and disadvantages.

The advantages of Amalgam are its strength and ease of placement. Its disadvantages are many. In order to place amalgam fillings quite often excess tooth structure must be removed. In order for amalgam to be strong is must be large, many times larger then the cavity dictates. This often results in a weakened tooth which is more prone to fracture. It often leaves thin walls of enamel that aren't strong enough to resist the forces in the mouth. Amalgam can also expand and contract with temperature and time, resulting in cracks and fractures of the remaining tooth. This can result in the need for crowns, root canals, or even worse, loss of tooth. With newer materials we can be more conservative in our treatment.

Amalgam is also an unsightly material. It darkens and tarnishes over time leaving the remaining tooth dark, blue, or grey. Perhaps you have seen someone with a tooth that looks grey or blue. This is usually an old metal filling shining through the tooth or leaking.

The FDA has been changing their position on Dental Amalgam. In most parts of the country it is illegal to dump mercury into the environment. So why is it safe to store it in your mouth? While I don't believe that amalgam fillings are dangerous I do not place them in my practice. I do not recommend replacing all your metal fillings unless there is reason to do so. Cracks, leakage, decay, fracture, weak tooth, and aesthetics are all good reasons to replace them.

At Aesthetic Smiles we use the best, most beautiful, and long lasting materials. A properly done composite filling can be beautiful, strong, and long lasting. It can also be a more conservative restoration leaving more of the tooth undamaged. If done improperly it can fail quickly. Composite (white fillings) are more time consuming to place and more technique sensitive. It is important that your dentist be trained and highly competent in bonding composite fillings.

In summary I believe amalgam to be safe from the research we have seen to date. I also believe it can be a great restoration in the right situation. We most likely get more mercury exposure from our environment then we do from our fillings. That being said it would not be the restoration of choice in my mouth.

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