Tooth decay and gum disease often go undetected. If you have old silver amalgam fillings, you could be harboring more than a few cavities under your old silver amalgam restorations.

According to Dr. Jeffrey Gilmor from the Glen Dental Center in Glenview, dental caries can’t be seen under silver amalgam fillings with normal inspection. However, if you have cracks and chips, chances are, you are harboring tooth decay.

Why are Silver Amalgam Fillings Bad?

Silver amalgam fillings are made up of silver, copper, tin, and nearly 50 percent mercury. Mercury is a poisonous toxin, and although it is natural, isn’t good for your mouth or the rest of your body.

Over time, silver amalgam fillings can leak causing vapor release into your mouth. Fillings that are not cracked or chipped can also leak. Recent studies indicate that even chewing on fillings that are sound can release mercury vapor. Because the metal is so toxic it’s hard for the body to eliminate, especially after it has been absorbed.

Although metal fillings are strong, they will corrode eventually. People who have fillings that are more than a decade old are bound to have some corrosion. Gaps, cracks, and chips in your silver amalgam fillings mean more mercury vapor.

What Alternatives are Available for Silver Amalgam Fillings?

Your dentist in Glenview uses dental resin and composite materials that are expertly matched to the color of your teeth. Once your silver amalgam fillings have been removed, Dr. Gilmor will restore the decay with natural looking resin and composite dental materials that are strong and safe.

How Long Do Tooth Colored Fillings Last?

Although tooth colored restorations require less tooth removal and drilling, meaning you’ll still have more of your healthy tooth, they will not last as long as your silver amalgam fillings. White fillings last between seven and ten years. With that being said, fillings made from other materials are much safer than silver amalgam fillings.

If you would like more information regarding mercury free dentistry, call or click and schedule an appointment with your dentist in Glenview.

You’ll look and feel better with natural looking restorations. Call for a dental appointment with Glen Dental today.