Our previous blog talks about the downside to silver fillings – increasing risk of tooth fractures and masking dental decay. But silver fillings bring a couple of other issues that should be considered – a lack of conservative placement and an inability to add strength to a tooth. The very nature of how a silver filling is placed translates to a large amount of healthy tooth structure being removed – add to this the fact that these fillings weaken tooth walls by causing cracks – you may want to consider alternate materials that are healthier for your body and your smile.
How Can White Fillings Strengthen Teeth?
The manner in which white fillings are placed and the characteristics of the material can actually add to a tooth’s strength. Unlike amalgam restorations that adhere to the tooth by the dentist making a series of undercuts in healthy tissue – white filling material is etched in to place – enabling a dentist to be much more conservative in the amount of tooth structure that has to be removed. Along with the conservative nature of placement the etching and curing aspect literally reinforces the tooth by becoming part of it compared to the rigidity of a silver filling. With a silver filling the force of biting down is transferred to the supporting tooth structure due to amalgams inability to absorb the force and flex with it. White filling material actually absorbs chewing force and can move with the tooth so that tooth structure isn’t left to handle all the forces exerted during biting and chewing. If you’ve ever wondered why your tooth broke, leaving a perfectly intact silver filling in place, the reason is that the tooth was doing all the work while the filling absorbed none of the force.
White Fillings Don’t Just Look Good
An important factor to consider when thinking about replacing amalgam restorations is that when it comes to taking care of the body there are materials that will do a much better job. Silver or mercury restorations have a large portion of mercury in them and in their pre-restoration state are considered biohazardous waste. Mercury fillings can’t be thrown out in the regular garbage – so you do have to consider if they’re the best for your body.
Talking to your Calgary Dentist about restorative materials that will work for your body and your smile is recommended – that way you can achieve optimal dental health.