Lafayette, LA Mercury-Free Dentist
Advantages of Mercury-Free Fillings
At Camellia Dental, we have been placing white composite fillings for many years, rather than the old-fashioned silver-mercury amalgam fillings. Here are the advantages of mercury-free composite fillings:
- White composite fillings bond to the tooth and strengthen it. Amalgam fillings weaken the tooth.
- Amalgam fillings have to be at least two millimeters deep to hold up under chewing. They also require that all weak enamel be removed and that there be slight undercuts to help hold the filling in. With composites, it is only required to remove the decayed tooth structure, so they are a much more conservative restoration. See the photos below illustrating this.
- Composites are very gentle to the tooth. With new amalgam fillings, your tooth will likely be extra sensitive to cold for several weeks afterward.
- White fillings look much nicer and more natural.
- Some people have concerns over the safety of having mercury in their mouth, and therefore desire a more holistic restoration option. For these patients, white composite fillings make an excellent choice, as they are free of mercury or any metals.
To illustrate the second point in the list above, here are photographs of two molars that needed one-surface fillings. For amalgam, all weakened tooth structure has to be removed, all of the groove have to be drilled out to minimize the chance of recurrent decay, and the cavity has to be drilled at least two millimeters deep or the amalgam will fracture. Here is the tooth preparation required for the placing of an amalgam restoration:
But for a composite filling, only the decay has to be removed. Since the composite will bond to the tooth, no fixed depth is required. And since the grooves can be sealed, there is no need to drill them away. Here is the tooth preparation required for the placing of a white composite restoration:
You can see the difference in how much tooth structure is conserved by doing the white filling.
If you are interested in mercury-free fillings, give us a call to make an appointment, or, if you’d rather have us call you, just fill out our Request an Appointment form.