Silver metal fillings in our teeth, called amalgams, have been used for decades and are still being used today in 75 percent of dental practices. They can be more than just unsightly; they may cause serious health problems. In general, dental amalgam consists of about 55 percent mercury, one of the most toxic non-radioactive metals known to man, along with lead and arsenic. Common sense dictates the use of available alternatives like composite, porcelain and/or gold.
Because of the oxidation/corrosion that occurs the metal amalgam distorts, expands and fragments. If you compound that effect with biting and grinding forces, teeth can fracture and break apart, creating avoidable major dentistry.
Here at our office, we believe the use of dental amalgam should be stopped and that proper care should be exercised in its removal. We safely remove dark, old silver fillings with the use of a rubber dental dam and high volume evacuation. We then replace them with safer, stronger, and more attractive white/tooth colored restorations called inlays, onlays, and composite fillings.
When the restoration is extensive, we primarily use an inlay/onlay technique. The Lava™ material from Ivoclar™ or the Sculpture™ material from 3M™ are both laboratory processed composite inlay and onlay products with a better resistance to wear than their direct filling counterparts. They also provide greater interproximal stability (i.e. flossing contact). The combination of these benefits creates a restoration that can last two to three times as long as direct composite fillings. Today we can mill and restore your teeth with the CEREC™ Cad-Cam system in only one day. This process used to take two appointments, wearing a temporary, and a second numbing about 2-3 weeks later. Now this new technology gives us another reason to remove and restore old silver fillings.
When a person with amalgams chews, drinks, swallows, and breathes, mercury can be released from the fillings into the lungs, digestive system, and bloodstream. Although there is no conclusive evidence, recent studies have shown that disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and chronic fatigue syndrome may be linked to this absorption of mercury into our tissues.
Here are some potential symptoms of mercury exposure from amalgams:
- Periods of depression
- Tingling and numbness in extremities
- Chronic fatigue
- Cold hands and feet
- Memory loss
- Frequent cramping of legs
- Ringing in the ears
- Metallic taste
- Unexplained chest pain
Your well-being is our first concern. If you are experiencing some of these problems, or just don’t like the appearance of your dark teeth, we can replace them with the Cerec&trade CAD-CAM system, which will not only improve your mouth’s appearance and strength, but your health as well. Contact us today to learn more.