For most of us, if we have ever had a filling, our teeth were repaired with a material called ‘amalgam,’ which is the silver looking material the dentist mashed into the cavity once it had been cleaned out and prepared. The amalgam itself is made up of a mixture of the powder of several metals including silver, mercury, tin, and copper with small amounts of zinc along with several additional metals. This type filling material has been used for over 150 years although in the recent past questions have been raised as to whether amalgam is safe. Your family dentist in Cypress believes it is vital for all patients to be fully informed about amalgam.
Safety concerns in the recent past have centered on the presence and the amount of mercury used in the amalgam mixture. Mercury is mixed with the other metal powders because it causes the mixture to be pliable allowing it to be packed into the cleaned cavity. The mercury then hardens quickly and yields a tough, resistant metal substance able to withstand the forces of chewing and biting. Your family dentist in Cypress can discuss with you the pros and cons of amalgam fillings.
In the past, it was thought that these fillings were inert and stable. In recent years, however, more sophisticated research has shown that small amounts of mercury are slowly released from the filling materials. Safety concerns were then raised about how much mercury was being absorbed by the body. Mercury, when absorbed in large quantities by the body can result in mercury toxicity which causes several severe conditions such as memory loss, anxiety, headaches, and other symptoms.
While the safety of amalgams is still under review, there is a growing trend for dentists to substitute composite resin fillings in place of amalgams due to the potential risks of mercury toxicity. Also, patients with amalgam filling already in place are electing to have them removed and replaced by the composite resin filling materials.
Your family dentist in Cypress believes the new composite fillings make an excellent substitute for amalgam and uses the newer materials in all additional cavity repairs. Also, any patient who already has amalgam fillings should speak with the dentist to discuss amalgam replacements.
Now is a good time to both make your biannual appointment for a checkup and to discuss the cutting edge issues of replacing your amalgam fillings with the newer composites.
The dentist at Village Park Family Dental is always available to review your oral health plan and to discuss any questions or concerns you may have. It is essential not only for you and your family to visit your family dentist in Cypress but also to maintain good oral hygiene at home. If you have concerns about your amalgam fillings, call our office at 281-376-4444 and schedule an appointment. Any of our professional staff will be happy to assist you, and your family dentist in Cypress will gladly schedule a consultation to review the pros and cons of amalgam. Give our office a call today, 281-376-4444.