In the past if you had a cavity, your only option was a metal filling. But today you have a more attractive option: tooth-colored composite fillings. The results are so remarkable that many patients wonder if they should proactively replace all their metal fillings with composites.
- Do not contain mercury
- Bond to the tooth and strengthen it
- Require less of the tooth to be removed to place the filling
Mercury fillings have been used for decades. Most likely you’ve heard reports that mercury fillings may be unsafe. St. Paul, MN General Dentist has practiced Mercury Free Dentistry for over 30 years. Our practice receives many requests from patients for removal of their old mercury fillings so they can be replaced with more attractive and tooth-colored fillings.
Dental fillings made of mercury can leak, permitting decay and discoloration of the tooth’s natural enamel. Fillings containing large amounts of mercury will expand and contract, and possibly lead to cracking or breaking of the tooth. This can be painful and most likely will demand costly and time-consuming dental treatment. It can take several visits to the dentist to restore the tooth. This includes placing of a dental crown and possibly root canal treatment. In more extreme cases, removal of the tooth may be required.
The good news is that advances in modern dentistry now offer safer and more cosmetically appealing options for replacement of old mercury fillings. This may include composite or tooth-colored fillings, as well as porcelain inlays and onlays.The following steps will be taken when you arrive at our St. Paul, MN General Dentist office for removal of your mercury fillings:
- A rubber dam will be placed in your mouth to prevent debris from being swallowed.
- During removal we will use cold water to keep the mercury cool and prevent possible release of mercury vapors.
- The filling is removed in chunks since drilling the mercury increases the chance of releasing harmful vapors.
- High-volume vacuum equipment is used to remove airborne particles of mercury and its vapor.
You do not have to live with unattractive and potentially harmful mercury fillings. If you are concerned about this issue, contact our office for a consultation to discuss your case and develop a treatment plan.
You have probably heard the controversy regarding the safety of mercury used in ‘silver’ amalgam fillings. St. Paul General Dentist has been a Mercury Free Dentist for nearly 30 years, and we see many patients who request removal of their amalgam fillings and replacement with tooth-colored composite fillings.
However, the concern over amalgam fillings relates to other problems as well. Amalgam fillings can leak, allowing decay and the dark color of the filling causes the surrounding natural enamel to take on a dark color. Large amalgam fillings expand and contract, causing the tooth to crack or break. If this occurs, it can be painful and will most likely require time-consuming and costly dental work. Several procedures may be needed to restore the tooth, including placement of a crown and root canal treatment. In extreme cases, the tooth may break in such a way that requires removal of the tooth.
Fortunately, modern dentistry provides safer, more aesthetically-pleasing options for replacement of mercury fillings. These include composite or tooth-colored fillings, and porcelain inlays and onlays.
When you arrive at our Minneapolis Dentist Office for removal of your mercury fillings, we will take the following steps:
- To prevent debris from the filling being swallowed, a rubber dam is placed in your mouth.
- Cold water is used during removal to keep the amalgam cool and prevent release of mercury vapors.
- Drilling away the amalgam increases the chance of releasing mercury vapors, so we “chunk" out the fillings.
If you are concerned about the mercury fillings in your mouth for safety or aesthetic reasons, please contact our office for a consultation appointment. At that time we will assess your situation and recommend a treatment plan that includes removal of your amalgam fillings.
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