For well over a century, a metal-based material known as silver amalgam was what dentists used to fill in cavities. Many patients complained about the amalgam’s dark color, which clashes with the soft white hue of natural tooth enamel. The amalgam also presents a number of health risks. In this blog post, you will learn more about why you should replace metal fillings and the benefits you may experience when you opt for tooth-colored fillings instead.
The Health Risks of Metal Fillings
Silver amalgam is composed of about 50% mercury. The mercury gives the amalgam its flexibility and allows it to be fitted into dental cavities. However, mercury is also known to be a toxic material. Patients with metal fillings may inhale mercury vapors and suffer from increased levels of mercury in their blood. In fact, research from 2016, which analyzed data from more than 15,000 people, found that individuals with more than eight metal fillings had 150% more mercury in their blood than people with no metal fillings.
There is also much anecdotal evidence to suggest that metal fillings can contribute to a range of symptoms, including:
- Kidney problems
- Unhealthy weight loss
- Social withdrawal
- And more
Tooth-Colored Fillings Are Biocompatible
If you are concerned about how your metal fillings may be affecting your health, or if you want to replace them solely because you wish to improve the appearance of your teeth, visit a dentist who offers tooth-colored fillings in Northborough. Tooth-colored fillings are completely metal-free. They are composed of a biocompatible resin that contains glass, plastic, and other materials that are safe for use within the human body. They can also be shade-matched to blend in seamlessly with the specific color of your teeth.
Additional benefits of tooth-colored fillings include:
- They bond with the surrounding tooth enamel, creating a tight seal that prevents leakage
- They are less reactive to temperatures than metal fillings, which helps to reduce sensitivity and decreases the risk of cracks forming in your teeth
- They typically last several years before replacement becomes necessary
What to Expect with Filling Replacement
While your dentist is working to replace your metal fillings, they will take appropriate precautions to minimize your exposure to mercury vapors. After the old fillings are out, composite resin will be inserted into the cavities. A special light will harden the resin, and you will be able to eat and drink immediately after your appointment. The entire process is fairly quick. Depending on how many fillings you are replacing, you may be in the office for less than an hour.
Are you ready to replace your metal fillings? Doing so could protect your overall health and give you a more attractive, more natural-looking smile.
Meet Our Practice
Drs. Sandra Crowley-Le, Philip Howells, and Soojin Eriksen are focused on protecting both the oral and overall health of patients, which is why we are proud to offer tooth-colored fillings as one of our restorative services. If you are interested in replacing your metal fillings with a modern alternative, contact us at 508-466-7091.