For almost 200 years, silver amalgam fillings with a large mercury content have been routinely placed throughout the United States. They still constitute the majority of fillings placed today. At Dr. Kevin Fitzpatrick’s office, we believe that the overall health of our patients always comes first. Accordingly, at our office we have elected to only use new and advanced fillings made of tooth-colored materials that contain no metals or mercury. It’s just one more way that we show our patients how much we care. Your safety and smile are our primary concerns! Our office, with an increasing number of progressive dental practices, no longer places this type of restoration for a number of reasons:
- Toxicity — there is a significant controversy today about the mercury in the amalgam filling material. Mercury is a toxic poison and although still accepted by organized dentistry, we cannot see a good reason for placing a mercury containing restoration when today’s alternative materials remove the potential risks of mercury.
- Tooth Damage — Non-precious metal fillings corrode (rust) in the wet environment of the mouth. Over time, this inevitable corrosion causes expansion of the filling material resulting in stresses and fracture of the previously strong and healthy surrounding tooth structure. In simplest terms, silver fillings eventually “crack” the teeth they are placed in.
- Cost — The inevitable corrosion of silver fillings and the eventual fractures we see require extensive treatment to restore the affected teeth. Although initially cheaper to place, a silver-mercury filling may be the most costly way to restore a tooth over the long run.
- Esthetics — Silver fillings initially look unnatural, and after their expected corrosion they are downright ugly. Today’s bonded alternative materials blend into the teeth and give patients the natural esthetics they expect and deserve.