Are dental amalgams safe? Is it possible to have an allergic reaction to amalgam? Is it true that dental amalgams have been banned in other countries? Is there a filling material that matches tooth color? If my tooth doesn't hurt and my filling is still in place, why would the filling need to be replaced? Read this interesting and informative discussion from the American Dental Association.
The Food and Drug Administration and other organizations of the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) continue to investigate the safety of amalgams used in dental restorations (fillings). However, no valid scientific evidence has shown that amalgams cause harm to patients with dental restorations, except in rare cases of allergic reactions.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers some scientific background on mercury (contained within silver-colored fillings), and whether it believes the substance presents any health hazards.
Children have significantly less tooth decay in their primary (baby) and permanent teeth today than they did in the early 1970s, according to the Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA). The analysis reveals that among children between the ages of six and 18 years, the percentage of decayed permanent teeth decreased by 57.2 percent over a 20-year period. In addition, children between the ages of two and ten years experienced a drop of nearly 40 percent in diseased or decayed primary teeth.
Advances in modern dental materials and techniques increasingly offer new ways to create more pleasing, natural-looking smiles. Researchers are continuing their often decades-long work developing esthetic materials, such as ceramic and plastic compounds that mimic the appearance of natural teeth. As a result, dentists and patients today have several choices when it comes to selecting materials used to repair missing, worn, damaged or decayed teeth.
The advent of these new materials has not eliminated the usefulness of more traditional dental restoratives, which include gold, base metal alloys and dental amalgam. The strength and durability of traditional dental materials continue to make them useful for situations where restored teeth must withstand extreme forces that result from chewing, such as in the back of the mouth.
Alternatives to amalgam, such as cast gold restorations, porcelain, and composite resins are more expensive. Gold and porcelain restorations take longer to make and can require two appointments. Composite resins, or white fillings, are esthetically appealing but require a longer time to place.
Here's a look at some of the more common kinds of alternatives to silver amalgam:
The Food and Drug Administration and other organizations of the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) continue to investigate the safety of amalgams used in dental fillings.
However, no valid scientific evidence has shown that amalgams cause harm to patients with dental restorations, except in rare cases of allergic reactions.
Tooth-colored fillings, also known as composite fillings, offer numerous benefits compared to amalgam. Composite fillings are much safer and don’t have any health risks associated with them.
Also, they match perfectly with your natural smile to ensure they blend in well with your surrounding teeth. Onlookers will almost never know that you’ve had a filling placed.
Most tooth-colored fillings last five to 15 years with good oral care. Additionally, staying consistent with your regular dental checkups can help you maintain a healthy smile and prevent cavities.
With this natural option to protect your teeth from decay, it’s well worth the cost and time in comparison to amalgam fillings.
Tooth-colored fillings will not become whiter from a treatment. If you want a brighter smile, you can receive a teeth whitening procedure prior to receiving your filling so it can be made to match the new shade of your smile.
If you notice your teeth are starting to become discolored after you receive a filling, we can whiten your natural teeth so you won’t be able to see the difference.