Mercury-Free Dentistry: Why It’s Better
If you look at the list of dental services on our site, you will see that Dr. Mansky is a mercury-free dental provider. This means that all of our Troy dental patients who need fillings for repairing cavities will not receive a mercury amalgam or “silver” filling. Our dental office has decided that composite fillings are the best option for our patients. While organizations like the Food and Drug Administration and the American Dental Association still recognize mercury amalgam fillings as safe, there is enough controversy around this practice that we’ve decided to give all of our patients a mercury-free mouth.
What is a Mercury Amalgam Filling?
Before you understand why we choose to avoid mercury amalgam fillings, it’s important to understand what they are. Mercury amalgam fillings have been used to repair cavities for a very long time, more than 100 years to be exact. Dental amalgam combines silver, tin, copper and a small amount of mercury to create a hard, durable filling for a cavity or other type of tooth damage. This process results in what is commonly called a “silver filling”. Most patients who have had fillings prior to the mid-1990s have received dental amalgam or “silver” fillings. For many years, this was the most durable, long lasting option and it was more affordable than using composite or gold to fill a tooth.
Why is Mercury Problematic?
Much of the controversy surrounding mercury amalgam fillings had to do with the potential for neurological side effects from the mercury. While these fillings are a longer lasting and stronger material than composite or gold fillings, the uncertainty about long-term health effects from Mercury does worry many of our patients. Mercury can cause a host of neurological side effects including memory loss, changes in mental acuity, and more. For the most part, these health problems are the result of many years of exposure to high levels of mercury, and most people don’t want to take the risk by having mercury in their mouth so close to their brain.
Mercury is also not good for the environment. Recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency started to push for stricter disposal requirements for mercury amalgam in dentist offices. This requirement is important to protecting our environment, especially our water ways from Mercury, which is not easily treated and can bio-accumulate in fish and other animals.
What We Use Instead
With so many concerns about the potential impacts of mercury on your health and the environment, we believe that it is good practice to use other products for filling cavities. When you visit our office to have a cavity filled, we will use a composite material made of plastic and glass to repair your tooth. There are a few benefits from using this material instead of dental amalgam. First, aesthetically, your mouth won’t be full of silver fillings. Composite fillings are tooth colored, so they match well with your natural tooth color and are not as easy to see. The second benefit to composite fillings is you never have to worry about strange side effects. The materials used in composite fillings are safe. Lastly, composite fillings can be just as durable and long lasting as silver fillings. And, because the composite material bonds to the tooth, it can provide additional strength to a significant tooth repair.
For More Information on Our Mercury Free Dental Services in Troy, Michigan
Having a cavity filled is never a fun process. We want to make it as comfortable for our patients as possible, by providing a safe process and material. We also want to be good stewards to our environment, so we have chosen to be a Mercury-free practice. If you need a cavity filled, have cosmetic dentistry needs, or just want a friendly dental office in Troy, Michigan to get a cleaning, Dr. Mansky provides a full range of dental services, in one office. To learn more about our practice or to schedule a dental appointment, please call us today at (248) 689-5508.