Do you still have a metal filling or two in your mouth? This type of restoration has many advantages. For instance, they are effective when it comes to replacing areas of teeth that have become damaged by decay, they are long lasting, and they are relatively affordable. However, there are also some downsides that may overpower their benefits, especially now that there is a better alternative. Read on to learn why you should have the metal replaced with tooth-colored fillings in Jacksonville.
What Are the Downsides of Metal Amalgam Fillings?
Metal fillings were the go-to option for many years, and many people still have them today. However, they aren’t always the best choice to restore your teeth. Here are some of the reasons why:
- Metal Fillings Contain Mercury: Amalgam fillings are made from several different metals, like silver, tin, copper, mercury, and others. The issue is that mercury is toxic to the human body. According to a study done by the University of Georgia, if you have more than eight metal fillings, they could be increasing the mercury levels in your blood. Ingesting high levels of the substance can cause “mercury toxicity.” This means symptoms like impaired senses and a lack of coordination. It can even be lethal in higher doses. The good news is that there isn’t any evidence to suggest that the amount of mercury present in fillings can cause major issues, but most agree that it is still a good idea to avoid them.
- Temperature Reactions: Metal tends to expand and contract when exposed to different temperatures. When you eat hot foods, it can expand and put extra stress on your tooth. When you have something cold, it can shrink and cause gaps. In the end, this can weaken the natural tooth structure.
- Not Natural Looking: Metal fillings are far from invisible. Most people don’t like the appearance of amalgam fillings in their teeth because they don’t appear to be natural.
What Are the Benefits of Tooth-Colored Fillings?
Most of the time, dentists these days use tooth-colored fillings. Here are some of their benefits:
- Natural-Looking: Tooth-colored fillings blend in with your teeth. No one will even know that you have one.
- Mercury-Free: Tooth-colored fillings are made from a composite resin.
- Preserves Tooth Structure: Less of your healthy tooth structure needs to be removed to place a tooth-colored filling. This is because they are able to form a stronger bond to the tooth.
If you have any concerns about your amalgam fillings, talk to your dentist about this alternative. Tooth-colored fillings are a safe, aesthetically pleasing alternative. This way, you can show off a healthy smile for many years to come!
About the Author
Dr. Larry C. Young is an experienced dentist who has been working in the field for well over four decades. He earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery from Georgetown University School of Dentistry and spent two years in the U.S. Army Dental Corps in Colorado. He served as President of the Jacksonville Dental Society from 1990-1991 and as an adjunct assistant clinical professor at the University of Florida College of Dentistry from 1990-2003. Currently, he is a member of numerous professional organizations, including the Academy of General Dentistry and Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. If you have amalgam fillings that you would like to replace, Dr. Young would be happy to help. For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit his website or call (904) 731-9833.