When you have a mild or moderate cavity, it can often be treated with a dental filling. Traditionally, fillings were made of a mixture of silver, tin, copper, mercury, and zinc. Due to concerns about mercury poisoning, many practices now offer tooth-colored composite fillings instead. At Well Rooted Dentistry, we not only place metal-free dental fillings, but we also practice mercury-safe filling removal to promote optimal wellness.
Amalgam vs Metal-Free Fillings
While composite fillings are becoming the norm in dentistry today, some practices still place metal amalgam restorations. However, metal-free fillings offer clear advantages over traditional fillings. For example, metal-free fillings:
- Bond directly to the teeth, making them stronger
- Are less invasive than amalgam fillings
- Do not expand and contract with temperature changes
- Are more aesthetically pleasing compared to amalgam fillings, as they blend in with your natural teeth
Why Material Matters
Traditional amalgam fillings are particularly concerning because they contain mercury. Research indicates that trace amounts of mercury are released into the body every day. This toxic substance has been linked to a number of serious health concerns, including headaches, kidney problems, nerve damage, and respiratory failure.
Our doctors practice biological dentistry. As a result, we only use biocompatible dental materials. This includes utilizing metal-free fillings. In addition, we also offer materials testing based on each patient’s health history and susceptibility to allergic reactions to ensure there is no possibility of allergic reaction.
Placing Metal-Free Fillings
- Anesthesia: First, your dentist will administer local anesthesia to numb the tooth and surrounding areas.
- Preparing the tooth: Next, the decayed portions of the tooth are removed. This step is often completed with our dental laser, which is more precise compared to a traditional dental drill.
- Placing the filling: Once the decay has been removed and the tooth has been cleaned and disinfected with ozone, your new filling can be placed. Your dentist will fill in the void with a composite resin material. At our practice, we purchase our composite resin from VOCO Dental – a German manufacturer that produces the most biocompatible material on the market. Primarily made of ceramic, VOCO composite resin reduces the risk of microleakage.
- Curing the filling: Once the composite resin material has been added, your dentist molds and shapes it, then hardens it with a special dental curing light.
- Shaping the tooth: Your dentist then smooths out all rough edges and ensures that your new filling does not interfere with your bite.
Removing Old Amalgam Fillings
So, what if you already have silver amalgam fillings and you want to replace them with safe, non-toxic, biocompatible composite fillings? At Well Rooted Dentistry, we are proud to use the Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique (SMART). This protocol is recommended by the International Academy of Oral Medicine & Toxicology to minimize mercury vapor exposure while removing amalgam fillings.
Schedule an Assessment Today
Do you have a cavity? Treating tooth decay early is the best way to ensure long-lasting success and promote optimal oral health. Schedule a consultation with our holistic dental team in Providence, RI and rest assured you’ll be treated with the highest level of care available. We can sit down with you and discuss all potential treatment options in detail. Contact us online or give us a call at (401) 443-4007.