Many Americans are becoming concerned about certain chemicals that negatively affect their food, water, and their surrounding environment. One such chemical that is especially becoming cause for concern is mercury. The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that exposure to mercury can be dangerous as it is toxic to certain parts of the body, including the digestive system, immune system, and nervous system. Symptoms of mercury toxicity are often quite severe and can cause tremors and muscle atrophy.
Besides being used in household products, such as batteries and thermometers, mercury has been used in dental amalgams for many years. In fact, silver dental fillings are comprised of 50% liquid mercury. Dentists have used mercury-containing fillings through the years due to the fact that they are strong and long-lasting. However, when a tooth has an amalgam, it can release mercury-containing vapors in the oral cavity.
Because people are becoming more concerned about mercury, many dentists, including Kate Brayman DDS, a holistic dentist in New York City, are no longer using amalgams that contain the chemical.
Besides not having to worry about the negative side effects of mercury, there are other benefits to having mercury-free dental fillings.
Mercury-Free Dental Fillings Look Better
For those who are self-conscious about the silver fillings in their mouth, this is a great reason to get mercury-free ones. Fillings that don’t contain mercury look more like the natural tooth, which means people who have them won’t even notice them, and neither will anyone else.
When it comes to physical appearance, natural-colored mercury-free fillings are especially beneficial for teeth that are near the front of the mouth.
Mercury-Free Dental Fillings Are Less Sensitive
Having sensitive teeth is fairly common. In fact, one out of every eight Americans say they are bothered by sensitive teeth. These people have a tough time eating or drinking food or beverages that are either too hot or too cold. This sensitivity can be exacerbated by metal fillings.
The good news is, that mercury-free fillings can help to decrease tooth sensitivity. This is due to the fact that mercury-free fillings don’t conduct any heat. Also, mercury-free fillings don’t quickly contract or expand, which can reduce the risk of painful micro-fractures in a tooth.
Mercury-Free Dental Fillings Are Durable
Amalgam fillings that contain mercury can actually cause the tooth to crack. This sometimes leads to tooth decay, which can go undetected underneath a filling that contains mercury.
Dental fillings that don’t contain mercury, such as those made with composite resin, get bonded directly to the tooth, which can help to increase the strength and durability of the tooth. This can prevent the tooth from cracking or fracturing.
For those who want to realize the advantages mercury-free fillings have to offer, they can choose between composite resin, ceramic, or glass ionomer. Composite fillings last about 15 years, which is the longest of these three types. Gold fillings are also another mercury-free option, but they are usually not very cost-effective.