Metal fillings have been around for over 50 years, and many patients have fillings in their mouths that are years old. Most metal fillings can hold up over the years, but some do not. Metal fillings are made of metal shavings or sawdust particles titrated or mixed with a piece of mercury to form the filling.
The metal filling is packed inside the tooth and held by retention. When the filling preparation is done we form the filling so the bottom is wide and the top is skinny. This allows the filling to form inside the tooth and be held by mechanical retention.
As our practice is located in Denver, Colorado and most patients here are health conscious and do not want metal fillings in their mouths. Many countries have banned metal fillings, and there are controversies over health risks they may cause by having the fillings in our mouths.
The American Dental Association and FDA both still support metal fillings, but they do say to handle them with caution. Due to all the controversy, Ascent Dental has stopped offering metal fillings to our patients. We had a patient ask us how we felt about poisoning our patients, and since then we have decided to stay away from using metal fillings. We want to provide the very best care to our patients, and avoiding metal fillings reassures patients that their health will not be at risk.
If a patient has a cracked, or broken filling, or there are cavities around the metal filling, we may recommend filling replacement. Our practice does not remove metal fillings just to replace them. There must be an issue with the current metal filling for us to recommend replacement.
Cavities can form under metal fillings over time and are not able to be detected unless the filling is removed. If your filling is over 10 years old, it may be time to evaluate the condition of your fillings and consider replacing them.
As far as side effects of metal fillings, more research should be done on whether metal fillings cause issues to our health.
If you have questions or concerns about metal fillings in your mouth, please contact us. We are happy to meet with you and discuss your concerns and answer any questions you may have.