Erie, Harborcreek and Millcreek, PA
If you are an adult over the age of 30, you probably have a silver filling or two. For decades, silver (also known as amalgam) fillings were used to repair decayed teeth. While they were effective and got the job done, they are unsightly and eventually cause the tooth to crack and break apart. Thankfully, advances in dentistry have brought us tooth-colored, metal-free fillings. You may even have one of these in your mouth. What’s the difference between these two types of fillings, and why are metal-free fillings better? Cosmetic dentist in Erie, Dr. Albert Starr is here to share five advantages of metal-free fillings.
- Better tooth bond
Composite or tooth-colored fillings are designed to bond directly to your tooth, unlike metal amalgam fillings. A better bond means the composite actually seals out bacteria, reducing your risk of recurrent tooth decay. Amalgam fillings, on the other hand, are known to leak or fall out over time, which is why many adults with these large fillings end up with root canals and crowns later in life.
- Looks natural
Let’s state the obvious – metal is noticeable. Silver fillings placed in back teeth can easily be seen when you talk or laugh, especially if you open your mouth wide when letting out a big belly laugh. Silver fillings also stain or “tattoo” teeth, which causes the rest of the tooth to look dingy and gray. Composite fillings look completely natural because they are chosen in a shade that matches your tooth exactly. In fact, it looks like natural dental enamel once it is placed in your tooth.
- Less tooth sensitivity
Metal is conductive, and therefore, likely causes tooth sensitivity when the temperature changes in the mouth. Composite fillings aren’t as likely to cause tooth sensitivity as their metal counterparts. This is because composite fillings expand and contract at a similar rate as natural dental enamel. And, the material consists of a plastic and glass ionomers mix, which isn’t as likely to respond to temperature changes like metal does.
Composite or metal-free fillings do not contain any mercury. Metal fillings are toxic to all parties involved – the dental staff, the patient, and even the environment. Leftover amalgam that isn’t used for a patient cannot be used again. Instead, it is disposed of in the trash, which later can leech toxic mercury into the environment and our water supply. In fact, dental mercury is responsible for the majority of mercury toxicity in our environment. With composite fillings, you don’t have to worry about any danger to anyone’s health or the environment.
- Biocompatible for all patients
Amalgam fillings consist of mercury and other metals, like nickel. Some people may have sensitivities toward certain metals and may experience an undesirable immune response due to having metal fillings in their mouth. Amalgam fillings are not safe for children or for women that are pregnant. Composite fillings are biocompatible, which means that they aren’t supposed to cause any allergic reactions or immune response, and are safe for patients of all ages.
Safe removal of silver fillings in Erie
If you want to get your silver fillings removed in Erie, or are looking for a safer alternative to fillings in Millcreek, contact Laser Dentistry of Erie by calling (814) 825-2615 to schedule a consultation and learn if composite fillings are the right choice for you.