Silver fillings also known as mercury fillings or dental amalgams are one of the most commonly used ways to restore teeth.
In our opinion, they are not the best method to restore teeth for several reasons and, in fact, Dr Amrein has not placed a silver filling in a patient for many years. At Torrensville Dental Care, however, if this material is requested or needed due to budget restraints we can have access to it.
Reasons why we avoid silver fillings when possible:
- Aesthetically silver fillings or amalgams are very unsightly. They look black, and the darkness shows when a person laughs or speaks. They dramatically age a person.
- They cause cracks in teeth. Amalgams are metal combinations. They expand and contract at a different rate than tooth material causing cracks that get bigger as time goes by. These cracks often end up as cusp fractures.
- They require a lot of unnecessary tooth removal. They rely on what we call "mechanical retention". You have to cut a dovetail in the tooth, so the filling stays in!
- Many people have concerns that mercury component of the alloy will leak out and poison them slowly. Mercury poisoning from dental fillings might be a controversial issue, but in our opinion patient's concerns are always to be taken with great care and urgency. One thing that we would like these group of patients to know is that resins (white filling material often used in amalgam replacement centres) are not ideal materials for filling large cavities. Also, when viewed with the same scrutiny, resins can also leak some chemicals that can be considered harmful. The best alternative for amalgams (when being replaced for this reason and especially in larger cavities) is ceramic.
Amalgam replacement is a treatment that we perform very often. We use the CEREC system for this purpose which uses a very high-quality ceramic and latest in computer design technology to replace amalgams in a one visit setting. Single visit treatments mean no temporaries, no impressions and less numbing. The fit and feel of these ceramic inlays and onlays are accurate and seamless. They are more costly than resins, but they last longer and have less of the potential side effects.