Why Our Dental Team Delivers Amalgam-Free Dentistry

Many patients come to Dr. Cornwell requesting to upgrade their silver fillings. They want their outdated metal fillings taken out and swapped out with tooth-colored fillings. People typically cite esthetic and overall health considerations with their metal fillings. It’s true that the esthetics of a smile may be greatly improved with a far more natural, tooth colored restoration. In addition, there are many reasons why it’s a good idea to upgrade to a tooth-colored porcelain “filling” or maybe a resin composite filling.

Almost everything wears away, and your silver fillings will not be any exception. They hold up against tense and heavy biting forces on a daily basis, and as they get older, they will crack, leak and can also bring about damaging fractures on teeth. After some time, metal amalgam fillings can, in fact, absorb water, causing them to swell and break away from the tooth. When this happens, your tooth is much more at risk of decay and tenderness.


Mercury/Silver fillings have some other important detractions that need to be considered when it is time for you to replace your restorations:

• Silver fillings are less esthetic than natural-colored fillings. Everyone agrees, they’re about as beautiful as large hunks of broccoli lodged in your smile.

• Amalgam expands and contracts when subjected to cold and hot extremes within your mouth. The continuous growth and contraction through temperature might set off cracks as well as fractures in teeth. There might not be any sort of symptoms for a while, yet these teeth can become hypersensitive as the crack expands or opens when you bite down or chew. It isn’t unusual for patients to come in wondering how they broke their own tooth when they had been eating something soft such as bread or a banana. What they don’t realize is that the tooth probably had a crack in it long before it finally came apart.

• Silver fillings that are under frequent chewing pressure are susceptible to metal fatigue or flexing and bending failure, a concept which may be fully understood and confirmed by repeatedly bending a paperclip until it finally breaks.

• Metal fillings are harder and far less flexible than the teeth they are molded into. The longer they are in the teeth, the more force they will place on the remaining weakened outer surfaces of the tooth leading to cracks and fractures.

• Metal fillings are not cemented into the cavity. They simply sit in the tooth and act under pressure to wedge the tooth apart, similar to how a metal wedge can be used to split logs into firewood.

• A minute space around the filling edge exists as soon as your silver filling is plugged into the tooth; and in this gap, constant corrosion and leakage takes place. This unnoticeable space is big enough to allow for bacteria and food particles to enter in after a while and result in decay at the crack between the filling and the tooth. Composite fillings, however, are actually glued to the tooth preparation area and seal the borders closed from invading bacteria.

• In order to get a tooth ready for a composite filling, the tooth can usually be treated a great deal more gently and with less healthy tooth structure needing to be removed. And thus, the dentist can retain the greatest amount of virgin tooth structure as is possible

• Silver fillings call for drilling undercuts (think carving out a pumpkin) and the removal of more substantial good parts out from the tooth so as to keep the mercury amalgam repair from falling out because it is not bonded straight to the tooth. These undercuts could also compromise the tooth as fillings get more substantial and doom that particular tooth to subsequent cracking at some point. These cracks can be substantial leading to crowning the tooth to restore it or perhaps catastrophic cracks leading to removal of the tooth.

• Composites, utilizing their chance to be conservative and making use of their gluelike properties, may strengthen and protect against fracture. Through blocking the chance of fracture prior to experiencing the symptoms of hot/cold sensitivity and also biting pain, innovative conservative treatments such as natural-colored fillings or porcelain-bonded restorations are actually reducing the side effects of toothaches and broken teeth.

• Finally, a growing number of dentists believe that, bonded natural-colored restoratives are probably safer than standard fillings, given that they don’t contain any mercury. While the American Dental Association (ADA) suggests the use of mercury in metal fillings is safe, there is an ongoing disagreement inside the dental industry regarding the negative effects of those mercury amalgam fillings. Many European countries actually prohibited the use of mercury amalgam fillings to avoid any sort of hazards associated with mercury.

Using a PROACTIVE instead of a REACTIVE approach to amalgam replacement is really a choice many patients hope to have Dr. Cornwell follow.