My dentist has always done amalgam fillings. When I went in this time, though, he gave me one of those white fillings. He told me that he was trying to go “mercury-free” whatever that means. I was excited about the white fillings at first because they would not be so obvious as all my silver ones are in my mouth. The problem is that a week later the new white filling came out. I went back and he replaced it. Then, a couple of weeks after that the stupid thing fell out again. He went ahead and did the regular amalgam filling after that and it is doing just fine. Does this mean the newer composite fillings are not as strong?
It sounds like your dentist is striving to improve his skills and catch up with the advancements in his field. This is admirable. Trying to go mercury-free is admirable too. Your amalgam (silver) fillings are made of a mixture of materials, hence the name amalgam. However, the main ingredient is mercury. This is a known toxin. While the American Dental Society assures patients that these are safe, you can understand the concern of patients.
Amalgam Versus Composite Fillings
The truth is that the composite fillings are actually stronger than their amalgam predecessors. This is because the bond directly to your tooth and require less removal of tooth structure. If that is the case, why in the world is yours not staying put? The problem likely lies in your dentist’s placement technique.
Composite fillings are placed differently than the old amalgam ones. It sounds like he has not mastered this yet. One thing he needs to be aware of is that there needs to be zero moisture during placement or the bond will weaken. You have a couple of options here moving forward. You can give him time and opportunity to learn or you can find a dentist who has already mastered the technique. This process has been around a while, so there are plenty of dentists who are already mercury-free dentists and can do a great job for you.
This may have been the first time you’ve heard about the mercury content in your silver fillings. Don’t panic. You’ve had them this long and unless they are leaking or cracked you probably won’t have any issues. However, if the new knowledge will keep you anxious, there is a sanitary removal process. It requires special knowledge and equipment that I can almost guarantee your dentist does not have. If you decide you want to switch them out for white fillings, than I would highly suggest you look for an experience metal-free dentist or mercury-free dentist.
This blog is brought to you by Duluth, GA Dentist Dr. David Marion.