As most people know, a filling is used to restore structure to a tooth that has been damaged by a fracture or decay. What many people don’t know is that traditional silver amalgam fillings contain over 40% mercury, a known neurotoxin. This is a controversial subject in the world of dentistry, and while the traditional stance has been that mercury fillings are safe, recent clinical research has indicated that small amounts of mercury vapor may be released during chewing.
From a cosmetic standpoint, white composite fillings are clearly superior to the dark-colored silver amalgam fillings, but learning the proper techniques for placing white composite fillings is not required in most dental schools. Many general dentists are simply not comfortable placing white composite fillings, particularly in the back teeth.
The dentists in our Naperville office have the training to properly place white composite fillings, and can offer expert advice on your alternatives for treatment.
White composite fillings also offer these advantages over mercury fillings:
- White composite fillings may be less expensive in the long run. White fillings bond to the tooth, and strengthen the tooth by restoring most of its original shape. Silver amalgams weaken the teeth and make them more susceptible to breaking. Broken teeth can be very expensive to replace.
- White filling composites are preferred by most patients. This is due to the natural color, strength and overall appearance and feel.
- Composites are naturally more comfortable. Hot and cold sensitivity are greatly reduced with composite materials as compared to the silver/mercury amalgams.
- With white composite fillings, more of the original tooth is preserved. Restorations with composites require less removal of the tooth material. Dramatically smaller holes are needed with a composite.