There has been ongoing controversy regarding silver amalgam fillings, and whether metal free fillings are safer.
For a period of time research seemed to imply that resin composites should always be used for fillings, as amalgam contains mercury which could potentially damage health.
However, there are new surveys, tests, and trials going on all of the time, and each one seems to produce differing results.
There are other alternatives to the traditional filling materials, including gold fillings, ceramic and composite resin fillings.
What Are Amalgam Fillings Made Of?
The silver colored fillings we all recognize are amalgam fillings. They have been in use for well over one hundred years.
These fillings are made from a mixture of metals, including silver, tin, copper, and mercury.
The mercury in the amalgam fillings bonds the other materials together, and this helps to create a strong long lasting filling material.
What Are Gold Fillings Made Of?
Gold fillings are comprised of a mixture of various materials and gold. Although they are very strong and long lasting, they are also very expensive.
What Are Metal Free Fillings?
Metal free fillings come in a few choices, including composite resin and porcelain.
What Are Composite Resin Fillings?
Composite resin fillings aren’t as strong or long lasting as fillings that contain metals, but they are color matched to your tooth and so are much less visible.
Composite resin is used for dental bonding too, as it can easily hide a chipped tooth or a tooth gap.
What Are Porcelain Fillings?
Ceramic porcelain fillings are more natural looking than other materials, as they closely resemble the natural teeth. However, they tend to be less hard wearing than other materials, so may not last as long.
Advantages Of Amalgam Fillings
There are several advantages to metal fillings, such as:
- They are hard wearing
- They are long lasting
- They are cheaper than other materials
Advantages Of Metal Free Fillings
There are several advantages to choosing metal free fillings, including:
- They contain no mercury
- They do not contain other metals which some people are allergic to
- They are more natural looking and less noticeable
Latest findings seem to be that the levels of mercury found in amalgam fillings is very low. However, as with everything else in life you have to way up the varying findings available. If you do want mercury free fillings it’s up to you.
Opponents of the use of amalgam will have one view, whereas supporters will tell you of research that claims composite materials carry their own risks.
It’s been stated that although advice should be taken about getting fillings when you’re pregnant, there is no need to be overly concerned.
If you feel that you would prefer more information before making a decision, ask your dentist whether he or she thinks metal free fillings are safer. They should be able to give you the latest findings.