Tooth decay is very common among both children and adults. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 41% of children have tooth decay in their baby teeth, while 90% of adults have tooth decay in their permanent teeth. Tooth decay, if left untreated, can lead to more severe consequences. These include cavities, infections, pain, and tooth loss.
The common denominator among the young and old is dental cavities. The treatment for dental cavities is to drill out the decayed material and put a filling in its place. There are two types, which are amalgam or mercury fillings and composite fillings. While mercury fillings have long been used for treating cavities, several questions about their safety have been raised and debated over the last decade.
Are Mercury Fillings Safe?
This is one of the most common questions that dental patients ask when they have their cavities treated. As its name suggests, mercury is the dominant and majority ingredient in mercury fillings. It also contains other ingredients including silver, tin, copper, and zinc. When mixed, they form into a hard and durable substance called amalgam, which is then used as the filling. Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer to the question for those asking, as there is no conclusive research or evidence to prove its harmfulness. Nevertheless, most dentists are greatly concerned about possible mercury fillings side effects with countries like Sweden, Norway, and Denmark banning the use of mercury fillings altogether.
Avoid Mercury Fillings
If you need to have a cavity treated, opt for composite fillings instead. If you already have mercury fillings, we strongly suggest that you have these removed, as these could negatively impact your health and well-being. The main reason for this is the possibility of mercury poisoning. Mercury is a substance that should never be in your mouth. If you have an amalgam filling, a small amount of mercury from the filling is released into your mouth every time you chew. The more you chew, the more mercury is released into your mouth, increasing the chance of mercury poisoning. This can cause a wide range of health problems, such as insomnia, tremors, headaches, kidney problems, nerve damage, and respiratory failure. Further, amalgam has the tendency to expand more, which could create small gaps in the tooth or even fracture or break the tooth structure.
As such, while you can no longer remedy the mercury that has already entered your body, you can stop yourself from consuming any more of it. To do this, you have to undergo mercury filling removal as soon as possible.
Switch to Composite Fillings
Removing your mercury fillings is a common dental procedure that would allow you to replace them with safe and non-toxic composite fillings. After trading your mercury fillings for composites, you can rest easy knowing they do not contain mercury or any other harmful substance.
Composite fillings are non-invasive, so no part of the healthy teeth needs to be removed or reduced, as they naturally bond with the surrounding tooth tissue. They are also better at reinforcing and preserving your tooth structure. Because they are easier to sculpt, their texture is smoother, thereby decreasing the possibility of plaque buildup. Further, it is easier to repair any damage by adding additional composite material compared to amalgam, where you need a complete replacement.
Apart from this, the most common reason people prefer composite fillings is its cosmetic benefits. They come in different shades and can naturally blend with your tooth color. This makes your teeth look perfect and, except for dental professionals, no one will even notice that you have composite fillings.
Not only are mercury fillings a thing of the past, but there is also that possibility that they might adversely affect your health. At Sunrise Dentistry, our utmost priority is the safety of our patients. Sunrise Dentistry offers holistic dentistry in Durango, CO. We utilize mercury-free, non-toxic dental fillings for your oral health needs. Drop by our clinic if you need to have your cavities treated or if you want to undergo mercury filling removal!