Amalgam fillings (commonly known as silver fillings) have been around since the 1840s, when dentists learned they could make a paste combining silver and mercury. They didn’t have the same information regarding the toxicity of mercury that we do today. Beginning in the 1980s two new technologies were developed that made another option available. First, a composite, tooth-colored filling material was developed that was strong enough to sustain the pressure needed for even back teeth.. Second, bonding technology developed that enabled the filling to bond directly to the teeth. These composite fillings were a big advancement.
Advantages of Mercury-free Fillings (Composite Fillings)
Amalgam fillings are mostly made of mercury. Mercury free composite fillings
Amalgam Fillings Mercury-free Fillings
- Amalgam fillings have to drill more tooth structure, which weakens the tooth. In contrast, composite fillings are bonded directly to the tooth. Not only does that keep healthy tooth structure from being removed, but the bonding actually strengthens the tooth.
- Amalgam fillings are conductors, which often cause sensitivity to hot and cold food and drinks. Because composite fillings do not contain metals, they do not conduct hot and cold, so you will not have the same sensitivity.
- As you can see from the above pictures, composite (white) fillings look much more natural on your teeth.
A Mercury-free Dentist
Though some dentists are wary of the new technology, preferring to do things the way they’ve always been done before, Dr. Potts embraced the technology. He knew his patients would be uncomfortable putting something that was 50% mercury into their bodies. He also knew that over time the amalgam fillings will corrode.
Larger fillings can have what is called metal-creep, which can cause the tooth to fracture. Dr. Potts is a mercury-free dentist. When you get a filling placed, you can be assured it will be a white, composite filling.
If you need a filling you may call our office to schedule an appointment, or if you prefer you may click on this link to request an appointment online.