Our Elmhurst dentists offer state-of-the-art, mercury-free dental care for patients of all ages. In today’s article we are going to be giving you more information about how mercury has been used in dentistry, as well as what you can do to avoid it. Let’s get started!
Mercury In Dentistry
Mercury has a long history of being used in restorative dentistry, especially in fillings. What are sometimes referred to as “mercury fillings” are actually made of amalgam, a mixture of metals that often include mercury. The other materials in these fillings are copper, tin, silver, and zinc.
Because mercury poisoning is a such a serious health issue, many people want to know whether amalgam fillings increase their risk of developing health problems. According to the American Dental Association, research has not shown a definitive link between amalgam fillings and mercury exposure. That being said, many dental patients choose to forgo amalgam, because…
- This type of filling doesn’t blend in with the natural dental enamel at all. In fact, it can make the tooth as whole look dark and stained.
- Amalgam can unnecessarily stress surrounding tooth structure, as it expands and contracts in response to changes in temperature.
- Old, damaged, or failing amalgam fillings do have the potential to leach mercury vapor.
You’ll be happy to know that there are a number of alternatives to amalgam if you are looking to avoid mercury fillings all together.
Ceramic fillings are crafted from porcelain, and they are custom-shaded to match your tooth shade, exactly.
Composite fillings are made from a mixture of plastic and resin. Once composite fillings are cured they appear hard and shiny, like natural enamel.
Gold fillings are made of a mixture of metals, including gold and copper. Gold restorations are particularly durable.
You have treatment options; you absolutely do not need to settle for amalgam restorations. If you want to learn more about restorative dentistry in general, or mercury-free treatment in particular, please reach out to our Elmhurst dentists!