We advocate mercury-free fillings. Many people still have silver/mercury fillings in their mouths from years past. Not only are mercury fillings are unsightly, but they result in a weaker tooth. Tooth-colored fillings and porcelain onlays and crowns create restorations that are not only beautiful (or unnoticeable), but also add strength to weakened teeth. These restorations are aesthetically pleasing and very strong thanks to new bonding and materials technologies.
Disadvantages Of Silver-Mercury Fillings (aka Amalgam Fillings)
- We know today that mercury fillings have many drawbacks.
- Mercury-silver fillings contain 50 percent mercury. In the past, these mercury-silver fillings were our only choice to fill teeth, so they were used. From a health standpoint we should not have amalgam fillings in our mouth if we can avoid it. They can corrode, leak, and cause dark staining of your teeth and gums. Fortunately, amalgam fillings can safely be replaced with tooth-colored restorations.
- If you have mercury-silver fillings that are 15 years and older, they have already undergone micro leakage. This micro leakage, results in decay becoming established under these fillings. Also, the large amalgam fillings tend to expand with time and thereby can often cause internal fractures in the tooth.
- From a health standpoint, we should not have mercury-silver fillings in our mouth if we can avoid it.
Advantages of Tooth-Colored Restorations (aka Composite Resin Fillings)
- There are many advantages to tooth-colored restorations:
- Composite restorations are bonded to the inside of the tooth, thereby reinforcing the strength of the tooth. Silver fillings weaken teeth.
- There is no mercury in composite restorations.
- Composite restorations require less good tooth structure removal in their placement as compared to silver fillings.
- Quite often, full crowns can be avoided with tooth composite restorations.
- And of course, tooth colored restorations are vastly superior in their esthetics!
The result is a beautiful smile!