Traditional silver (amalgam) fillings go back to the 1840s when dentists discovered they could make a paste out of mercury and silver. Once they filled the tooth, the paste would harden and last for many years. That became the standard treatment. What most patients didn’t know is, though they are called silver fillings, they are made mostly of mercury. The American Dental Association has said that it believes amalgam fillings are safe. However, even with that assurance, many people are uncomfortable with the idea of putting mercury in their body.
There are many benefits to using a material that doesn’t contain mercury or other metal substances, including the following:
Fortunately, in the 1980s, there were some technological breakthroughs that allowed us to make mercury-free fillings. Their clinical name is composite fillings, but most people know them as white fillings. At Sommers Family Dental, we prefer the composite fillings for most situations. However, we provide both amalgam and composite fillings and let our patients choose the filling they are most comfortable using.
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