Tag Archives: white composite fillings

Can silver mercury fillings leak?

I have a friend that takes a naturalistic approach to everything in her life. From her diet and the personal products she uses, to her healthcare, and even dentistry. She was telling me that silver fillings have mercury in them that can leak over time. Is this true? Do I need to have them removed?

– Alyssa in Oregon

Alyssa,

The beauty of the day and age that we live in is that we have so many choices when it comes to the food and products we buy, as well as the dental and healthcare providers we use.

Dentists have been using silver amalgam fillings (which do contain mercury) to fill cavities for over a hundred years. With the progression of dental technology and the techniques used, there is another option available to dentists now to fill cavities. Although, it is worth noting that the American Dental Association still takes the stance that amalgam fillings are completely safe. That said, many dentists see the benefits in choosing the mercury-free filling materials.

Here are some reasons that people choose to have amalgam replaced.  Overtime the mercury that is present in these older fillings can be released into your body. This toxic substance can make you ill or have other negative affects on your health. Since mercury is such a dangerous substance many people want to avoid it or have it removed from their mouth. And that is understandable.

Many holistic dentists offer the white composite resin and don’t even do amalgam fillings anymore. Aside from them being mercury-free, there are many benefits to white composite fillings. The bonding technology used to place the white fillings actually makes the tooth stronger and there is less post-operative sensitivity. Not only are they a more holistic choice, but they look nicer too.

So your friend isn’t alone in taking a holistic approach in realizing how dental care is correlated to the overall wellness of a person. There are some other holistic dentists out there that take things a step further, beyond sanitary amalgam removal. Some of these natural dentists that share this sentiment use materials that are BPA-free, bio-compatible, and also will honor Cliffords Sensitivity Testing results.

So you probably don’t need to run out and have all your amalgam fillings replaced immediately, but moving forward it may be something to consider when choosing a filling material. Also, it would be good to know where your dentists lies in the broad spectrum of holistic dentistry methods.

This post is sponsored by Newton MA cosmetic dentist Ultimate Aesthetics.

How do you know if a dentist uses mercury or not?

Are there any specific standards or organizations that can assist one in finding a holistic dentist? I don’t want dangerous ingredients placed in my mouth and from what I can tell all amalgam fillings have mercury in them. Do most dentists still use amalgams? How do I find one that doesn’t?

– Paul in Rhode Island

Paul,

Every amalgam filling does contain mercury. But the simplest way to find a mercury-free dentist is to simply ask. Many dentists build their practices around holistic dentistry techniques. In fact, even if you don’t realize it, it may be hard to find dentists that still use amalgam fillings. Let us just state for the record that the American Dental Association still deems amalgam (silver) fillings to be completely safe. So this is a dentist’s discretion that leads them to the services and materials provided in individual practices.

Although, it is very understandable that patients are concerned with having mercury placed in their mouth. White fillings are actually bonded to the tooth and offer many benefits over amalgam. They actually strengthen the tooth structure, require less drilling of the natural tooth structure away, have less post-operative sensitivity, and they look much nicer too. In fact, you won’t even be able to see where the natural tooth ends and the filling material begins.

There are some “old school” dentists that hold on to the “tried and true” ways of dentistry. But when you start researching this topic, you will find that the majority of dentists have embraced the new advances in bonding and offer white composite for patients.

Hopefully this information was helpful to you!

This post is sponsored by Newton MA cosmetic dentist Ultimate Aesthetics.

Tooth pain from Invisalign treatment

I am using Invisalign to straighten my teeth and am currently on my forth tray of aligners. I have a total of nine sets to complete, so I guess I’m about half way there. Anyway, I noticed a pain in a premolar. This tooth is one that has an old filling in it. So I think my dentist would like to get a new filling but he used a temporary filling with medication in it. He said the medication would help to ease the pain in the nerve. But it’s been a few days now and the tooth is killing me. Do you think the increase in aggravation is from the temporary treatment he just did?

– Louis in Oregon

Louis,

Any kind of orthodontics treatment, including Invisalign, places pressure on the teeth to move them into the correct position. And this increase in pressure may make your teeth more sensitive while chewing. The Invisalign system places pressure on the soft tissue around your teeth, as well as the tooth itself. Some pain from this treatment is not uncommon. Although, it sounds like that old filling is really bothering you.

The treatment your dentist did is more of a precaution. He or she is probably wanting to see if that helps with the tooth pain. There is always a possibility that the old filling may have a small crack or may even be beginning to leak around the exterior of the filling. Bacteria can get into the small crevices that surround the filling. This could also be what is causing you discomfort. And if that is the case, it will be difficult to clean it out.

A temporary filling will help to reduce the sensitivity and may seal the tooth better to protect the nerve center or pulp of the tooth. If the decay has reached the pulp, than you may require additional treatment. This is because if the nerve dies, you will need a root canal treatment to save the tooth. All that said, the pain may take several days to subside. It would be good to followup with your dentist in a week or two if the pain is still lingering. An x-ray will be able to provide better information to treat this issue properly. If the filling is okay it still sounds like a replacement filling may be in order. White composite fillings are a great solution for the replacement treatment. They bond to the tooth to make it stronger and they are mercury-free. Ask you dentist if he or she does white composite. There are many mercury-free dentists out there that don’t even place silver amalgam fillings anymore.

Hopefully this answered your question.

This post is sponsored by Newton MA cosmetic dentist Dr. Steve Bader of Ultimate Aesthetics.