Mercury-Free and Metal-Free Dentistry
While the ADA officially states that the mercury level in amalgam fillings is safe, our office takes no chances with your health. For fillings, we use safe, durable composite resin, and for most crowns, we use all-porcelain restorations. Your smile is part of your personality and your image. We will partner with you to maintain your oral health and your natural-looking, gorgeous smile.
Composite vs. Amalgam Fillings
Amalgam fillings were initially developed from a combination of silver shavings, zinc, copper, tin, and mercury as a low-cost alternative to gold restorations. Despite knowledge that mercury is hazardous to humans, amalgams gained popularity as dentistry became more available to the masses. Aside from their potential toxicity, amalgam/mercury fillings pose other risks. Amalgams are temperature-sensitive, expanding and contracting when they come into contact with hot and cold. This can cause hairline fractures and tooth sensitivity. Over time, an amalgam-treated tooth can weaken, often creating a liability to your long-term dental health. Amalgams on biting surfaces can change shape with biting and chewing impact. Tiny cracks in the material or between the filling and natural tooth structure can allow bacterial reinvasion, creating a bigger decay problem than you had at first. Additionally, metal fillings detract from the integrity of your smile and can damage your self-confidence.
Composite fillings are bonded with adhesive to your tooth structure, protecting against decay and strengthening the tooth. This bond can make a composite filling last for seven to ten years. Composite fillings provide long-term bacterial invasion protection, too. Once bonded, a composite filling won't wear down or change shape, despite the incredible forces of biting and chewing. Bacteria and food particles cannot enter the tooth. Because they're tinted to match your natural tooth color, composite fillings will blend seamlessly with your smile.
Porcelain crowns are highly-esthetic and return structure, strength, and function to a tooth with extensive decay or damage. Porcelain's translucent quality reflects light similarly to tooth enamel, making the crowned tooth difficult to discern from the ones nature gave you. Designed to fit snugly and function as a healthy tooth, a crown will protect your tooth from further damage and preserve the jaw’s correct natural alignment. Typically, we can design, fit, and place your all-porcelain crown in just a couple of short appointments.
While many people prefer metal-free restorations, on occasion Dr. Williams will use porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns. Porcelain is layered over noble gold, providing extra strength while still giving you the natural look of porcelain. Sometimes, a metal restoration is best. While Dr. Williams will always strive to provide you with the most cosmetically pleasing option possible, your oral health and function comes first.
Are you interested in mercury-free dentistry? Contact our Simsbury dental office at (860) 658-7833!