Informed dental patients have a choice today when it comes to fillings, and many are choosing white composite fillings instead of the controversial silver amalgam fillings. Silver amalgam fillings are approximately 50% mercury, and many people are concerned with the possible health effects of having a mercury-containing substance in their body.
Dr. Tammy Tran is your Orange County mercury-free dentist. She prefers the white composite fillings for several reasons. Not only don’t they have any mercury content, but they make your tooth stronger and they can almost always be done more conservatively than the amalgam fillings.
Silver amalgam fillings go back to the 1840s. Back then, dentists discovered that they could mix silver with mercury and it would form a paste that could be pressed into a cavity. Over a period of a few minutes it would harden into a durable filling that could withstand heavy biting pressure. White composite fillings are a much newer technology, in use for just a couple of decades. Even today many dentists prefer the “tried-and-true” techniques of silver amalgam fillings, and many dental schools continued to stress them.
Dr. Tran, however, prefers the more modern white composite fillings. Yes, they are more technique sensitive and take more time to place, but she feels like the extra trouble is worth it because of superior results.
Advantages of Mercury-Free White Composite Fillings
White composite fillings have several advantages over silver amalgam fillings.
- They bond to the tooth, restoring much of the tooth’s original strength.
- They look more natural, blending with the color of the surrounding teeth and so are more attractive.
- Since amalgam is a metal, it readily conducts hot and cold. Patients find that the composite fillings are much less sensitive to hot and cold.
- For a new cavity, much less tooth structure has to be removed.
- They seal adjacent vulnerable parts of the tooth against recurrent decay.
If you would like to have cavities repaired with white composite fillings, call Dr. Tran at 714-907-1557 or visit Dr. Tran’s Make an Appointment page.