Perhaps the biggest dental issue facing patients and dentists today is old amalgam fillings. They simply must be removed if you want optimal oral and overall health. Yet some dentists are still putting them in. At Brighton Dental, we’re a San Diego holistic dental clinic, and we don’t use amalgam. Whenever possible, we work to replace old amalgam fillings in the safest ways available to get this toxic material out of your mouth for good.
It Was Used Because It Works
You may not have been notified of the potential health risks of amalgam fillings when the material was used in your mouth. A dentist probably decided to use the material despite the potential health risks because it works. Amalgam is durable, cost-effective, strong, resists abrasion and has many other positive properties.
But here’s the big problem: It isn’t biocompatible – meaning it doesn’t get along well in a living, breathing body. That’s mostly because it contains mercury, which is carcinogenic and has other negative properties. There was a time when school children were allowed to play with handfuls of liquid mercury, but we now know better.
There’s some controversy about how harmful mercury is, but Dr. Woods and the team at Brighton Dental have a simple stance on amalgam: no product that contains a large amount of a harmful substance should be used in the body. It’s that simple.
And It Has Other Problems Too
There’s something else to consider about amalgam. It has some other problems. Most importantly, it expands or swells over time. This can cause cracking of the teeth that this substance is supposed to be protecting and strengthening. These cracks are irreversible and result in the tooth eventually needing a crown, a somewhat expensive dental procedure that might could have been avoided.
Additionally, as you eat, small amounts of amalgam can be ground away and ingested, exposing you to the harmful mercury inside.
Composite filling materials are available that allow dentists to do beautiful, tooth-colored fillings and other restoration work. And composite is biocompatible and harmless. Plus, composite fillings don’t press down, expand or shift once in place, so they’re less likely to cause cracking.
Please Err On The Side Of Caution
We admit that this is a controversial topic and that some dentists refute the evidence that amalgam fillings are harmful to overall health. While we think this is a shame, we offer you some simple advice: err on the side of caution. If there’s the potential of your dental restorations harming your health, it makes sense to get them removed.
Just make sure the removal is done by a careful, well-trained and well-prepared dentist. It’s possible to be exposed to additional mercury during the removal process if it isn’t handled correctly. If you’re concerned about removal procedures, ask us to show you the level of care and attention that goes into amalgam removal.
We don’t install amalgam fillings and we work to remove those we find in our patients’ mouth so we can prevent further damage. It’s the right thing to do for overall health and allows you to have strong, tooth-colored fillings made with biocompatible, durable and good-looking materials. Composite fillings aren’t new, so we can be sure they work just as well as amalgam without the many problems of silver-colored, mercury-containing fillings.
Learn much more about this topic on our Amalgam Filling Removal page.
And contact us for an appointment. We can remove your harmful amalgam fillings, replace them with composite or other restorations and allow you to get on with life with one less thing to worry about. We’re here for you at Brighton Dental.