Mercury-Free Tooth-Colored Fillings in Elk Grove Village, IL
Cavities are an unfortunate fact of life. Even with great brushing and flossing habits, an occasional cavity may still occur (although brushing and flossing will keep this to a minimum!). Today’s dental technology allows us to fill cavities with tooth-colored filling that matches the natural shade of your own teeth, unlike the silvery-gray amalgam fillings of the past.
Amalgam fillings, also known as silver or metal fillings, have been used for decades to fill cavities. While they are mostly reliable, they do have some flaws. One of the most obvious flaws is the way amalgam fillings look in your teeth. They create a dark blotch on your tooth, and when you smile wide or laugh out loud, it’s easy to spot your amalgam fillings. If you’ve needed more extensive filling at some point in the past, your entire tooth may be left discolored.
Many people with amalgam fillings are less concerned about the aesthetics, however, and are more concerned about the fact that amalgam fillings are composed of about 50% mercury, a known toxin. While the possibility exists that amalgam fillings may release a very small amount of mercury vapor over time, multiple studies have been conducted over the years that show that the mercury in amalgam fillings does not pose a health risk. The Centers for Disease Control and the U.S. Public Health Service have both published reports stating that no evidence has been shown to link the mercury found in amalgam dental fillings with health problems.
Even so, many patients would prefer not to have mercury in either their own or their child’s mouth. Our Elk Grove Village dental practice offers a solution to this problem – tooth-colored composite resin dental fillings.
The Advantages of Tooth-Colored Fillings
In addition to looking better and being 100% mercury-free, tooth-colored fillings have additional advantages that make them ideal for use in filling cavities in patients of all ages.
Amalgam fillings are made of metal. When exposed to heat and cold, metal expands and contracts. So do the fillings in your mouth. This means that subtle movement and shifting is occurring in your teeth every time you enjoy a piping hot cup of coffee or a brisk glass of iced tea. Over time, those tiny movements can cause big problems. Your fillings may become loose and eventually fall out, or they could provide an opening for bacteria and acid to sneak in and cause decay behind the filling. When you make an appointment with Dr. Vishal Advani, he will check the condition of your fillings to make sure that they are still in good shape. X-rays will also help us detect if damage is taking place behind your fillings. If Dr. Advani detects any problems with your fillings, he will likely recommend they be replaced with new tooth-colored fillings.
When tooth-colored composite resin fillings are placed, they are applied in layers, and each layer is cured before the next layer is applied. Composite fillings actually bond to your teeth from the inside. This means that your fillings can actually strengthen and support your teeth, an important advantage if you need extensive filling or root canal therapy.
Call our office today to schedule an examination and a cleaning. We will show you ways to prevent cavities from ever starting and discuss your options for treating any that do occur.