Traditional amalgam fillings are tough, rough and unsightly.
Many people choose to replace their amalgam fillings to avoid the negative side effects associated with this material:
- Unlike our natural tooth material, amalgam expands and contracts in response to the temperature of food and beverages we consume. This process can cause fillings to crack and become loose, threatening the integrity of your natural tooth structure.
- Traditional amalgam fillings are usually simply packed into the void, and not completely sealed. This means that bacteria and plaque can develop underneath the filling- leading to further tooth decay.
- These fillings are not aesthetically pleasing as they are a dark metallic colour and do not blend with the colour of the natural tooth structure that surrounds it. In fact, amalgam fillings can actually stain your natural tooth enamel, creating an unsightly grey halo around your tooth.
- Amalgam is comprised of an alloy containing 50% mercury, and this has been a cause for concern by certain people as they believe this mercury can leak into the mouth during chewing. Whilst the validity of these claims is uncertain, amalgam does pose an environmental risk as has been banned by environmentally conscious countries such as Denmark and Sweden.
Whilst studies are inconclusive about the serious health risks of amalgam fillings, certain people are more at risk and should consider removing their amalgam fillings.
Pregnant women should avoid amalgam fillings or exposure to any substances containing mercury (certain seafood etc.) as mercury can cross the placenta and enter the bloodstream of the foetus. Women may wish to replace their amalgam fillings with composite resin or porcelain fillings if they are considering starting a family. Women who are breastfeeding should choose amalgam free filling options as mercury can be passed onto the baby through breast milk.
Children are more susceptible to the mercury content in amalgam fillings as their growing and developing teeth are more sensitive to the effects of any chemical substances in the environment- including mercury.
People with kidney disease should also avoid amalgam fillings or consider replacing existing fillings with a mercury free option as mercury exposure can negatively affect kidney function.
These recommendations are for precautionary measures only, as there are currently no solid scientific findings linking amalgam fillings to serious health risks.
At our dental clinic located in the heart of Sydney’s CBD, we offer contemporary filling materials such as composite resin and porcelain as a viable alternative to amalgam fillings.
The benefits of these modern filling materials include:
- Completely safe and mercury free
- Porcelain and composite resin fillings do not expand or contract in response to temperature changes in the mouth.
- Our filling technique completely seals the void created by dental decay, protecting the tooth from further damage.
- These types of filling materials are tooth coloured and can be colour matched to correlate with the exact colour of your natural tooth. This creates an aesthetically pleasing and seamless result.
- Porcelain fillings have an advantage over composite fillings as they are a stronger filling material.
To find out more about the contemporary filling material we use in our Sydney dental clinic, or to book an appointment, please contact us.