When most people think about getting a tooth filled, the last thing they might think about is whether the dentist uses mercury-free dental cavity fillings. The first thing they usually think about is just how painful it will be to get the filling.
First, a filling shouldn’t be a painful procedure at all. If you do feel real pain during a dental filling, you should let your dentist know as soon as you can safely do so.
It’s unfortunate that the thought of discomfort during the filling procedure gets in the way of what’s really important: that your dentist should perform mercury-free dental cavity fillings.
A Brief History Of Dental Cavity Fillings
Imagine having a mouthful of gold! Long ago, if you didn’t take very good care of your teeth, that might be exactly what you had. Dental cavities used to be filled with gold in most cases.
One reason why gold is so valuable is that it’s an amazing metal, especially for filling dental cavities. It is pliable, long lasting and it doesn’t rust or otherwise corrode.
But it’s also very expensive. At today’s prices for gold, just the few grams that go into a filling could be worth a hundred dollars or more.
To give patients a more economical option, dentists started offering the choice of filling teeth with amalgam; a blend of different metals that, together, offer the same benefits as gold, including durability, pliability and strength.
The Health Effects of Mercury
One of the metals used in amalgam is mercury. In fact, it’s the mercury that binds all the other metals in amalgam together. So there’s more mercury than anything else in amalgam.
But, after the development of amalgam, scientists discovered that mercury is not very good for you. High levels of mercury in humans have been known to negatively affect the brain, heart, kidney, lungs and immune system.
Today, some dentists offer the option of using a mercury-free dental cavity filling so their patients don’t have to worry about the ill effects of mercury. And mercury-free fillings offer many more benefits too.
They’re a similar colour as your teeth
Gold and amalgam (a silver colour) fillings are easily spotted in your mouth. But you’d have to look very closely to spot a mercury-free filling.
You keep more of your real tooth
Mercury-free fillings bond with your teeth. That means the dentist doesn’t have to remove as much of your existing tooth as with other fillings.
If you would like to get mercury-free dental cavity fillings, contact us at myDentalcare here in Lindsay, Ontario.