RESTORATIVE PROCEDURES (MERCURY-FREE FILLINGS)”
Cavities can occur at any age for a many different reasons. It is extremely important for the long-term health of your mouth and body to discover decay as soon as possible, remove it, and get a dental filling with an appropriate material to protect your tooth from further damage.
Dental fillings will prevent a cavity from getting bigger, which is very important for your overall health. If you allow a cavity to grow, it will lead to larger and more expensive restorations later.
For restorative procedures like dental fillings in Toronto to get rid of cavities and tooth decay, contact Dentistry on Bay.
WHAT IS TOOTH DECAY?
Essentially, tooth decay is a bacterial infection that eats away at your tooth. If you let the infection go on for too long, eventually the tooth will abscess and it may fall out or need to be extracted. In some cases, the infection from an abscessed tooth can move from your mouth into other parts of your body and create an extremely serious infection.
Thankfully, tooth decay can be prevented with healthy food choices, home care, and regular dental visits. The deep grooves in your teeth can also be protected from potentially larger fillings later on through the placement of preventive resins. If you already have a cavity that needs a filling, the biggest choice you have to face is what to fill it with.
There are multiple materials that dental fillings can be made of beyond the typical silver amalgam. These new materials, ranging from composite to gold, are just as strong and durable as amalgam. When you have a choice for your dental fillings in Toronto, it is important to understand your options.
COMPOSITE FILLINGS (TOOTH-COLOURED FILLINGS)
Dental composite is a synthetic resin that is used to create tooth-coloured fillings that get bonded to your teeth over the cavity. Depending on where you need the filling to be placed, dental composite fillings are available in a variety of strengths, colours, and translucencies. Composite resin is no longer just an option reserved strictly for front teeth; dental composites are now strong and durable enough to be considered a significantly better choice for fillings in back teeth than silver amalgam.
- Colour choices to match natural tooth colour
- Strong and durable
- Reduction of leaking and margin decay as compared to silver
- Less expensive than gold fillings or porcelain inlays
- Mercury-free (unlike amalgam silver fillings)
As with anything, composite dental fillings do have their drawbacks. Patients who are allergic to plastics, resins, or certain types of bonding materials may not be good candidates for composite fillings. Also, if there are very large areas of decay in your mouth, your teeth may be better-restored with a crown.
The other drawbacks of composite fillings include:
- Can be reactive for patients who have sensitivity to resins, plastics, or certain bonding materials
- Some brands of dental composite may contain BPA
- May not be suitable in areas of the mouth that cannot be kept dry during placement
HY WE PREFER TO USE COMPOSITE RESTORATIVE OVER AMALGAM FILLINGS
In our opinion, no one should get amalgam silver fillings these days. There are many mercury-free filling materials available that are safer, more stable, and better for the long-term health of your teeth and body. Dr. Tuvel has not placed a silver amalgam filling in over 30 years, and our office does not use any type of filling material that contains mercury. If you have a choice of fillings, Dr. Tuvel always recommends choosing something other than amalgam.
However, we do not recommend that you go out and replace every silver filling in your mouth. Mercury exposure from amalgam fillings is greatest when the filling is first placed or removed. If you plan on having one or more silver fillings removed, discuss the appropriate safety protocols with your dentist to limit your exposure to mercury vapours during the procedure. These protocols may include some or all of the following:
- Using high speed suction during removal to reduce the amount of mercury vapor that escapes
- Breating oxygen or nitrous oxide (if you are nervous) to limit inhalation of trace airborne mercury vapour
- Wearing a rubber dam to safeguard against mercury contamination
If you are in need of dental fillings in Toronto, know the facts. Composite fillings are a great option for many patients, and they are mercury-free. If you have any questions about our methods or about getting an amalgam filling removed, please contact us for more details.