Dentists have used silver amalgam to fill cavities since the 1840s, when they discovered that a paste could be made out of silver and mercury. This combination of materials would harden and was used to fill a tooth when the cavity was removed. Silver amalgam fillings last for many years and were used as the standard of care for over a hundred years.
Dental technology has evolved over time and in the 1980s, two major breakthroughs occurred which gave dentists another choice. Composite filling materials were advanced to the point where they proved to be strong enough to hold up on back teeth. Second, the advances of bonding technology would now allow fillings to be bonded directly to the tooth. Both of these helped composite fillings to rival amalgam as a filling material for back teeth. And since the 1980s, composite filling technology has advanced even further.
We Are a Mercury-Free Dentist Office
The name silver fillings is a bit misleading. This is because the filling material itself is actually made up of less then fifty percent silver and about the same amount of mercury. And although the American Dental Association has deemed amalgam to be safe, there are many people that have safety concerns about having mercury placed in their mouth.
Dr. Larsen has embraced this newer bonding technology and no longer uses silver amalgam fillings. When you need a cavity filled, there are many benefits in choosing white composite that go far beyond the safety issue. Not only do they make your teeth stronger, they are mercury-free, and they look beautiful too.
Advantages of Mercury-Free Composite Fillings
- The composite materials bonds directly to your natural tooth. This process strengthens the tooth where amalgam actually weakens it.
- Composite fillings have less post-operative sensitivity after the appointment.
- Less of your natural tooth structure is drilled away for composite fillings.
- The seal that is formed with the bonding technology helps to prevent future tooth decay.
- The color is the same as your natural tooth, so the end result is beautiful. No one will be able to see your filling when you are laughing or talking.