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  • Definition - 

  • Dental fillings replace lost tooth structure, this could be caused by a cavity, trauma or severe wear.  Most fillings replace tooth structure due to a cavity.  Once all the bacteria and the infected tooth is removed a white filling is placed.  This restores the shape and function of the tooth.  

  • What type of fillings are used? - 

  • At Silver Tree Dental Care we use white composite fillings.  These have many benefits over silver fillings as they directly bond to the tooth, look more esthetic, and often less tooth structure needs to be removed prior to the placement of a white filling

  • Frequently asked questions about fillings

  • Are silver fillings bad?

  • Silver fillings do contain mercury, and over the past couple years have been phased out by many offices and countries due to the environmental concerns that mercury poses. (read more).  Many people are concerned that Mercury from dental fillings enters the brain and causes a decrease of cognitive ability.  This has not been shown to be true, however there are studies that show many children that do not have their teeth filled, have severe dental pain, decreased ability to chew and absorb nutrients, and miss days at school. This is more likely to contribute to decreased cognitive ability than silver fillings.  At Silver Tree dental care we only use white fillings on our patients.

  • Should I remove my silver fillings? 

  • Silver fillings are made up of a combination of many different types of metals including copper, silver, and tin which is mixed together with liquid mercury.  As the metals react together they become hard, and the mercury is bound in the matrix.  Silver fillings have been proven safe and can last for many years. Due to the metal in the fillings there are some antibacterial properties that often prevent decay from recurring on the tooth. While in this metal matrix the elemental mercury cannot pass through the blood brain barrier. However if this mercury is washed down the drain it can be converted to a bad form of mercury which can enter the food chain.  See article below. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3514465/​               

  • Therefore it is not recommended that teeth with silver (amalgam) fillings that are in good condition be replaced.  However if there is a fracture in the filling or decay around the filling it is best to have it removed and replaced with a white (composite) filling.

  • Should I have a filling, or should I just extract the tooth? 

  • It is always better long term to have the tooth repaired with a filling.  This will allow you to chew your food properly, which breaks up the food better for proper digestion, and better health. However if the tooth is severely broken down and cannot be restored with a filling, or a crown, or is cracked below the gums then it may be better to have the tooth extracted.

Fillings

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