December 7, 2020
For more than a century, dentists consistently filled cavities with a metal-based material called silver amalgam. While this substance was certainly durable, many patients were annoyed with its dark color that created a noticeable spot in their smiles. Additionally, silver amalgam can present numerous risks to your oral and even your general health. If you have old metal fillings, you could be putting your well-being at risk. Continue reading to learn why you should replace metal fillings in Chesapeake with a metal-free alternative.
The Health Risks of Metal Fillings
Silver amalgam actually contains trace amounts of mercury. This gives the filling material its flexibility and allows it to be molded to fit the unique structure of a patient’s tooth. However, mercury is widely known as a toxic material. Patients who have metal fillings, especially a large number of them, may accidentally inhale mercury vapors and have higher levels of mercury in their blood. In fact, a 2016 study, which analyzed data from more than 15,000 people, found that people who had more than eight metal fillings had 150% more mercury in their blood than individuals with zero metal fillings.
Why You Should Choose Tooth-Colored Fillings Instead
If you’re worried about how metal fillings will impact your health, or if you wish to find a more aesthetically pleasing solution, then ask your dentist about metal-free restorations in Chesapeake. Most dentists these days use tooth-colored fillings that contain no metal at all. Instead, they use composite resin, a malleable material that is completely biocompatible. They can also be personalized to seamlessly blend in with the surrounding teeth and create a natural appearance.
Other benefits of tooth-colored fillings include:
- Composite resin forms a tight bond with the enamel, sealing out bacteria that could cause further decay.
- They more effectively shield the nerves in the inner chambers of your tooth from becoming irritated by hot or cold temperatures.
- In most cases, they can last just as long as metal fillings, if not longer.
The Filling Replacement Process
When your dentist begins replacing your metal fillings with composite resin ones, they will exercise certain precautions to minimize your exposure to harmful mercury vapors. Once the old fillings have been removed, the resin is applied to the cavities in layers. After the resin is hardened with a special ultraviolet light, you should be good to go. Depending on how many fillings you need to replace, your appointment should only take about an hour.
Are you ready to have a healthier and more attractive smile? Then ask your dentist to replace your metal fillings with tooth-colored ones today!
About the Practice
At Estrada Dentistry, Drs. Craig and Charito Estrada are a husband-and-wife team of dentists who provide restorative, cosmetic, and preventive dental care to residents of Chesapeake and the surrounding communities. They utilize advanced technology, including tooth-colored fillings, to heal their patients’ smiles without sacrificing their natural appearances. To learn more about them and how they can heal your smile, contact our practice at 757-548-1611.
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