All Smiles Dental is an amalgam-free clinic and we use a variety of tooth-coloured filling materials. Composite resin is suitable for smaller cavities and porcelain could possibly be a more powerful alternative in heavily decayed or filled teeth.
Dental amalgam is a mix of metals such as silver, copper and tin. Mercury binds these metals together, delivering a hard ‘silver’ filling for your teeth. Amalgam fillings have previously been the most widely used material for fillings in back teeth. However, with time, the amalgam which was once smooth and shiny silver, becomes black and pitted as it corrodes in the mouth, and can result in stress fractures to propagate throughout the surrounding tooth structure.
Amalgam plays a role in stress fractures in teeth and we generally find internal fractures in teeth with moderately sized silver fillings. Composite or plastic fillings are not necessarily the answer in big holes either. In teeth which have been more heavily filled we design porcelain overlays and crowns to replace worn old fillings, to deal with cracks and increase strength to the tooth structure.
While issues have been brought up about dental amalgam because of its mercury content, authorities such as the British Dental Association, US Public Health Service, FDI World Dental Federation and World Health Organisation state that amalgam has been used for more than 150 years in millions of patients and no controlled studies have shown adverse health effects, except for rare cases of mercury allergy.
HOWEVER, as there are more biocompatible and minimally-invasive materials available to Dentists, we choose not to work with Amalgam fillings in our dental clinic.
Our amalgam removal protocol ensures use of high-volume suction with amalgam separation units to ensure that no mercury is leaked to the environment through waste. Where suitable, rubber dam shields are utilised to ensure that your exposure to the amalgam and mercury vapour is minimised as it is removed.