If you have had a cavity in the past, you probably have an amalgam filling. Most likely, you have probably never given the use of a metal filling a second thought. Metal fillings have held a common place in restorative dentistry because they are affordable and effective. However, in light of recent claims saying that these fillings increase your risk for mercury exposure, you may now be wondering if you should have them replaced with a composite resin filling instead? As your dentist in Vienna, VA, we understand your confusion and concern. We have the information you need to make an educated choice.
Are Metal Fillings Harmful?
Dental amalgam fillings are composed of various metals, including mercury. The use of mercury is where the concern about fillings originates. Mercury is a naturally occurring substance that is found in the water, air and soil. Whether you have a filling or not, you are exposed to mercury each and every day. However, in large amounts, mercury can be toxic to humans. Some claim that you can potentially get mercury poisoning due to prolonged exposure when the metal is used. However, there is no clinical evidence to support mercury poisoning caused from metal fillings. As a result, the World Health Organization, American Dental Association, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and our office continue to support the use of metal fillings.
Should I Have My Metal Fillings Removed?
Although metal fillings are safe, you may choose to have them removed for cosmetic reasons. Metal fillings are durable and effective, but they are quite noticeable. In the past, you had no choice but to use these fillings. Now, you can choose an alternative option with tooth-colored fillings.
Tooth-colored fillings are made from a composite resin material. The resin is customized to match your enamel color so no one will ever be able to detect the repair with the naked eye. Now, these are the most preferred type of material because they repair your smile while enhancing its appearance.
If you are concerned about the use of mercury in amalgam fillings, composite fillings are a more appropriate option for you. Composite fillings do not contain any metals, including mercury, so you can rest assured you are protected from mercury poisoning.
Your Dentist for Composite Fillings
In the end, replacing metal fillings boils down to your personal preference. As your Vienna dentist, we offer both metal and composite resin fillings. If you are looking for an effective and affordable option to treat a cavity, a metal filling will do the job. However, if you are looking to enhance the beauty of your smile, a tooth-colored filling is the option for you.
No matter if you need a new filling or would like to have an old metal filling removed, contact our office today to schedule a consultation.