The Many Advantages of Metal Free Fillings

ThinkstockPhotos-464323669Dental fillings are an excellent treatment option to help restore the normal function and shape of damaged teeth. Dental fillings can also help prevent further damage by making sure that the damaged tooth is properly sealed, preventing bacteria from going in.

There are a number of filling materials used by dentists, but when it comes to efficiency and safety of treatment, metal free fillings are considered by many as the ideal choice.

The Problem With Metal Fillings

Introduced over a century ago, metal amalgam fillings are as controversial today as they were in the past.

Health concerns aside, the main problem with metal amalgam fillings is that they look bad. They look out of place and are very obvious when placed, especially when they’re silver or gold. Also, they’re not very resistant to staining and can turn black, which can destroy the overall esthetics of your smile.

Metal amalgam fillings also expand and contract as a reaction to heat at a different rate than that of your tooth enamel. This can tooth sensitivity. Also, when the filling expands, it can put pressure on your enamel, which can cause your enamel to crack. Metal amalgam is also just jammed into the prepared hole, as opposed to being bonded to your tooth. This leads to a scenario where the filling creates some space around it whenever it contracts, allowing for liquid to penetrate into your teeth and causing damage, as well as decay around your metal fillings.

The presence of mercury in amalgam fillings is also a cause for concern.

If you didn’t already know, mercury is a very toxic metal. It also evaporates over time, creating what’s called as mercury vapor in your mouth. This vapor can seep through your teeth and enter your blood stream. Even more concerning is that a small metal amalgam contains about 155 mg of mercury, which is about 100 times as much mercury found in a CFL bulb.

Although considered safe by authoritative bodies such as the FDA and ADA, there’s enough evidence to show that metal fillings aren’t the safest option.

Why Metal Free Fillings Are The Better Choice

Metal free fillings can come as either composite fillings, ceramic fillings or glass lonomer fillings. Of the three, composite resin fillings are considered the most popular choice because they’re white and can be made to match the color of your natural teeth. This means that with composite resin fillings, no one will be able to know that you had your decay repaired or that you even had decayed teeth in the first place.

Composite fillings are also bonded to the affected teeth. They also don’t cause problems with thermal expansion and contraction. More importantly, dentists can place composite fillings in much smaller places in your teeth. This means that they won’t have to remove as much tooth material to make way for the filling, allowing you to keep your smile as strong and as healthy as possible.

Of course, metal free fillings aren’t perfect. They simply can’t compare to the durability of metal amalgam fillings and as a result, do not typically last as long. Although, if durability is your only concern, dental inlays and onlays are a much safer and better-looking alternative to metal amalgam fillings.

If you think you’d benefit from metal free fillings, contact Dr. Gary Alhadef, DDS at 214-368-2434 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.dallascosmeticdental.com for additional information regarding metal free fillings.