Advances in dentistry have led us from the cumbersome, and sometimes toxic, use of metal fillings or dental amalgam to the use of composite resin alternatives, gold, porcelain, glass ionomer, and plastic. The metals in the original fillings were “junk metals” and also mercury (up to 1000 mg of mercury in each filling), which is toxic, and silver, which can also be toxic as it slowly leeches from the filling into your bloodstream. In addition to be a healthier alternative, these composite fillings mimic the look of the original teeth more completely.
The process of putting composite resin, and other filling items, on the teeth, is uncomplicated, though might require some pain relief especially if the original cavity has gone into the nerve in the center of the tooth. The dentist would scrape out the decayed material, put some adhesive on the remainder of the tooth so that the composite could hold to it. The composite is then placed in layers, with the dentist using a special light to dry each layer as it’s applied.
Even though the composite resin and other filling options are healthier than the “silver” metal fillings, they can cause some sensitivity to the tooth, and they may not hold up as well if they are needed for larger fillings. They can also show stains easier than metal fillings, especially if the patient likes to drink lots of coffee and other dark, coloring foods. The cost is sometimes prohibitive as well.
The average American has a little over 3 fillings. That is a lot of drilling and composite/amalgam being placed in people’s mouths! Even with the many places to get any metal free fillings league city tx, and in other parts of the state and country, dentists are kept busy with helping people’s teeth in this way.
Amalgam fillings have a long history, starting back in 1819 with the first mercury amalgam being created by an English chemist by the name of Bell. Shortly thereafter, a long discussion in the public was started, that didn’t end until around the mid-1990s regarding the toxicity of the mercury in the amalgam fillings. Many doctors continue to use them, though, as they are cheaper than the alternatives, and tend to hold up for longer periods of time (12 years, as opposed to 5-6 years with the alternatives.
Before amalgam fillings were a thing, there were even earlier findings (as early as 7,500-9,500 years ago) of different items used to fill teeth, such as beeswax. Apparently, we have been filling holes in our teeth for a very long time!
No matter what kind of fillings that you have to get in your teeth, know that we have been filling them as a practice for a long time, and you are not alone in your need to fill your teeth, as many people before you, as well as many people after you, will need the same sort of procedure done.