Are your fillings tooth colored?

All of our fillings are tooth colored.

Are silver fillings safe?

This is a common question. There are valid arguments for and against dental amalgams. Amalgam has been studied extensively and 2 arguments have arisen: 

  1.  Is dental amalgam safe
  2.  Is dental amalgam a significant source of environmental mercury pollution.

The answer to both questions is yes.

At Pottsville Dental we don't place amalgam fillings, or encourage their removal unless they have failed. If you feel that you need to have your silver fillings replaced we are happy to do so, but at this time the scientific case against silver fillings is environmental. Ethically, there is no case to remove dental amalgam unless they are failing or causing the tooth to fail. If you are concerned about safe removal of silver fillings, a barrier can be used block amalgam dust from entering the mouth, and high volume aspiration will effectively remove any vapours. 

Fig1. Small pit and fissure cavities restored in composite
Fig1. Small pit and fissure cavities restored in composite

Silver Fillings: The Good

  • Very tough, can last a long time
  • No proven link to disease in humans
  • Long track record of durability
  • Can 'Self Seal" small marginal defects

Silver Fillings: The Bad

  • A source of mercury pollution in the environment, but less than industrial sources like burning coal
  • Can permanently stain a tooth or turn it grey
  • Can induce cracks in teeth
  • Poor esthetics
  • No reliable bond to tooth

What about white fillings?

White composite fillings have thier own advantages and disadvantages.  The concerns raised against white fillings are that they are plastic based and have a shorter history of use. Prior to the BPA scare of the early 2000's, many white filling materials did contain BPA and similar compounds. Given consumer concern over BPA, manufacturers were quick to change their formulations. It is also true that white fillings are relatively new kids on the block. They are improving rapidly and by the time long term studies are completed on a particular white filling material, it has usually been superseded by the new improved version.

White Fillings: The Good

  1. Can bond to the tooth and existing white filling:
    1. Less removal of tooth required
    2. Can re-enforce cracks/fractures
    3. Can be veneered over defects
    4. More easily repaired
  2. Good Esthetics
  3. Much less environmental concern
  4. Set on demand, ready to use as soon as they are placed

White Fillings: The Bad

  1. Less track history
  2. Less compressive strength than amalgam
  3. More difficult to place, moisture sensitive until cured
  4. Fail more rapidly if a marginal seal is broken

Hopefully this article has been helpful for you, if you have any questions be sure to ask Amy, Cath or Myself- Rob