Our Saint Louis dentists are proud to offer state-of-the-art mercury-free dental care to our patients. Mercury has a long history in the world of dentistry, but dental innovations have made it largely obsolete. Keep reading to learn more from our team…
Mercury In Dentistry
The primary place you’ll find mercury in the world of dentistry is in amalgam dental fillings. Amalgam is made of a mixture of metals, like tin, copper, zinc, silver, and, yes, mercury. These mixtures are used to restore teeth after cavity removal. Fillings allow us to repair teeth, and jump back into regular life.
Mercury poisoning is a very serious health issue that occurs when a patient is exposed to too much mercury. The good news is that research has not shown a direct link between structurally sound amalgam fillings and mercury poisoning. However, many people prefer to eliminate amalgam fillings from their mouths because…
- Amalgam discolors white teeth, making them appear dark and gray
- As your teeth are exposed to hot and cold substances, amalgam fillings expand and contract. Over time, this can damage surrounding tooth structure
- While well-maintained amalgam fillings don’t leach mercury vapors, failing or damaged fillings can potentially increase mercury exposure
Dentistry has come a long a way since the days when amalgam was the only restorative option available. Today there are a number of other materials from which you can choose, including:
Composite: this type of filling is made from a mixture of plastic and resin. Composite fillings are appealing because they blend in with natural dental enamel, and they are an affordable restorative option.
Ceramic: porcelain restorations are exceptionally natural looking, without sacrificing durability. Generally speaking, these fillings are slightly more expensive than composite.
Gold: made from a mixture of metals, including gold and copper, this is the longest-lasting restorative material on the list. However, gold is also the most expensive material.
So, there you have it! If you have additional questions about mercury, restorative dental care, or fillings and restorations, specifically, please don’t hesitate to contact our Saint Louis mercury-free dentists to get started!