They’re called silver fillings, but in reality there is more mercury in them than silver. The correct term would be amalgam fillings. Amalgam is a paste of silver and mercury. It was discovered in the 1840s that this paste could be used to fill a cavities in teeth where it would harden and remain strong and in place for many years.
Then, almost a century and a half later, advances in technology allowed for the creation of a white composite material that was nearly as strong and resistant to wear as the amalgam fillings. In addition to this, a bonding technology was developed that allowed these fillings to be bonded to teeth, which strengthened the teeth.
Some dentists still prefer to use amalgam fillings, but Dr. Lane has operated a mercury-free practice for over 25 years. He finds many advantages to the newer composite fillings.
Advantages of Mercury-Free Composite Fillings
- Composite fillings bond directly to your tooth, which strengthens your tooth.
- They also have less post-operative sensitivity. Metal fillings conduct heat and cold and can be sensitive for several weeks. Composite is an insulator, and, done properly, post-operative sensitivity will be uncommon.
- Because composite bonds to the tooth, weak parts of the tooth don’t have to be removed. The result is a smaller cavity preparation where only the decay has to be removed.
- They seal vulnerable parts of the tooth from future decay.
- They blend with the color of the natural tooth and so are more attractive.
If you are interested in mercury-free fillings, call Dr. Lane’s office to schedule an appointment, or you may visit our request an appointment page and ask us to call you.