The jury is out on whether silver fillings, also called amalgam fillings, are a health risk. Amalgam fillings consist of a mixture of metals including silver, zinc, copper, tin and mercury. The American Dental Association’s official position is that the level of mercury in these fillings is safe for people. Other organizations and researchers, on the other hand, believe that any level of mercury is unsafe. At Hagerty Dentistry, Lansing dentist Dr. John Hagerty and his team are not taking any chances. We practice mercury-free dentistry for the sake of your smile and your overall health.
What is mercury?
Mercury is a heavy metal that is a known neurotoxin. A person’s brain, heart, kidneys, lungs and immune system may be harmed if exposed to high levels of mercury. Symptoms of mercury poisoning include:
- Sensory impairment
- Compromised peripheral vision
- Coordination problems
The degree of exposure dictates the severity of symptoms.
Composite Resin Instead of Metal
At Hagerty Dentistry, we don’t want to take any risks at all with your health or the health of your loved ones. Therefore, we use only composite resin materials to repair a cavity with a filling, and for dental crowns we use only all-porcelain restorations rather than porcelain fused to metal. These materials are not only healthier for your mouth and your body, but they also look better.
Composite resin is essentially a medical grade plastic compound. Dr. Lansing can blend this material to exactly match the color of your tooth, so the repair does not show at all. Hence, these types of fillings are usually known as tooth-colored fillings. Furthermore, because amalgam fillings are held in place by pressure and are sensitive to hot and cold temperatures, there is always a risk for contraction and expansion of these types of fillings. This can lead to hairline cracks in your tooth’s enamel as well as tooth sensitivity. Moreover, these crack or fractures can begin to compromise the integrity of the tooth and increase the possibility of infection, which might necessitate a root canal.
Tooth-colored fillings, on the other hand, are adhesively bonded to the remaining tooth structure, so they do not contract or expand. In addition, when preparing your tooth for a composite resin filling, Dr. Lansing can take a much more conservative approach and leave more of the natural tooth structure intact. That means less time under the drill for you.
Call Our Mercury-free Dentistry Office Today
If you would like to learn more about how our mercury-free dentistry can benefit you and your family, contact Hagerty Dentistry. Dr. Hagerty is the dentist Lansing, MI, residents rely on for professional and safe dental services.