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Why Replace Metal Fillings? The Answer May Surprise You

December 15, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — laplatadental @ 3:05 pm
Large metal fillings on a woman's molars

Do you have metal fillings in your teeth to prevent tooth decay? Metal has been a primary material for dental use for over 150 years. However, recent research has raised new doubts about whether metal fillings are safe for long-term health. Keep reading to learn what the experts say and whether you should replace metal fillings with a safer alternative.  

What Are Metal Fillings?  

Metal fillings restore areas of a tooth where a cavity has been removed and prevent further decay. They are often known as silver fillings because of their color. However, metal fillings are not made of 100% silver. Instead, they typically contain a mix of tin, copper, silver, and mercury. This mixture is durable when it dries and less expensive than other filling materials used for dental restorations.

Are Metal Fillings Safe?

According to the American Dental Association, metal fillings are a safe restorative option for both children and adults. However, a University of Georgia study published in 2016 examined participants with metal fillings and found that people with more than eight could be at-risk for increased levels of mercury in their blood. Mercury, one of the components of metal fillings, is a toxic heavy metal that can produce harmful effects on the nervous, digestive and immune systems, as well as the lungs and kidneys. According to a review of data published by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health in 2019, mercury exposure from metal fillings may be associated with:

  • Neurological disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Alzheimer’s disease (for those who are 65 or older with metal fillings)

More Reasons to Replace Metal Fillings

There are other reasons why some patients replace their metal fillings. For instance, metal restorations are temperature-sensitive and can expand and contract when they come into contact with very hot or cold food or drinks. Frequent expansion and contraction can lead to tooth sensitivity or even enamel fractures over time. In addition, some people find that they are allergic to certain components in metal fillings, such as copper or tin. An allergic reaction to metal fillings may cause sores in the person’s mouth.

Alternatives to Metal Fillings

These days, many patients are turning to tooth-colored restorations to replace metal fillings. Made from a mix of acrylic plastics blended with tiny glass particles, tooth-colored fillings are non-toxic, bond easily with enamel, and can blend in seamlessly with your natural smile.

These popular restorations restore up to 95% of the original strength of a tooth and can typically be placed in less than half an hour. Perhaps most importantly, dental insurance typically covers a large portion of the costs of tooth-colored fillings.

If you’re unhappy with the way your metal fillings look or worried about their impact on your health, ask your dentist about tooth-colored fillings.

About the Author

Dr. Mark Hochman has over 40 years of experience helping patients maintain healthy smiles. At La Plata Dental, he offers natural-looking, composite resin fillings to fix minor tooth decay and damage. To learn more about why you should replace metal fillings, visit the La Plata Dental website or call 240-349-2439.

5 Key Factors that Affect the Cost of Dental Implants

December 3, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — laplatadental @ 2:10 pm
Man Stacking Coins Over Seesaw with Balancing Tooth

Do you have a gap in your smile? Missing teeth are more than just an aesthetic problem. In fact, missing teeth can increase the risk of gum infection, bite problems, and jawbone deterioration. That is why roughly half a million people restore their smiles with dental implants each year. Want to know if implants are right for you – and your wallet? Below are some of the main factors that influence the cost of dental implants.


5 Non-Anxiety-Related Benefits of Sedation Dentistry

November 25, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — laplatadental @ 4:47 pm
Dentist treating relaxed dental patient

Since sedation dentistry is widely known for its anxiety-relieving benefits, it’s not surprising that many patients chalk it up to just that. However, this calming solution offers patients several advantages, even if you aren’t scared of the dentist. In fact, for many patients, it’s the key to having the comfortable and enjoyable dental experience they desire! To learn more about the benefits of sedation dentistry, read on.


How Soon After a Tooth Extraction Can I Get a Dental Implant?

November 18, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — laplatadental @ 7:43 pm
Closeup of woman wondering

Are one or more of your teeth badly decayed or damaged? If so, then the best route to restoring your healthy, happy smile may be removing them entirely. But how soon after can you fill the gap in your smile? After all, you want to have a full smile and strong bite as quickly as possible. With this in mind, keep reading to learn when you can get dental implants after a tooth extraction!


What Causes White Spots on Teeth and What to Do About Them

September 28, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — laplatadental @ 2:55 am
patient receiving treatment for white spots on teeth in La Plata

Have you noticed small white spots on your teeth? This is an incredibly common cosmetic issue and may give your smile a look you’re not a fan of. Luckily, these white spots are rarely a cause for concern and can be corrected with the help of a good cosmetic dentist. Read on to learn more about why white spots on teeth form and how cosmetic dentistry can help correct them.

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