Your Dentist in Los Gatos Can Safely Remove and Replace Mercury Fillings
Why is it that when one part of you is ill or injured, your whole body can feel the affects? That’s because the human body is not an organized arrangement of individual parts, but a systemic connection of parts that make up a greater whole. As part of that whole, your mouth has an important role to play and not only as the port of entry for nutrition. The health of your mouth and your dental treatments can impact your overall well being. That’s why your dentist in Los Gatos always considers your general health when making oral care recommendations. One of those recommendations is often the removal and replacement of mercury fillings.
Why Do I Need to Remove Metal Fillings?
Toward the start of the 19th century, dentists began to use a few different metals to repair tooth decay, or cavities. Gold, silver or tin were softened and pressed into a cavity to rebuild a damaged tooth. Eventually, mercury was added to a combination of these metals. Mercury is a heavy metal that helps bind other metals in order to create a stronger amalgam.
Not long after mercury in fillings became popular, the safety of this metal came into question. Metal fillings now and then would crack over time, allowing mercury to leak into the mouth’s soft tissue. In addition, once released, mercury can vaporize and be inhaled into the body. Research has also shown that these Mercury vapors are released, well beyond the acceptable safe levels, when the fillings are removed. Although the findings are not 100 percent certain, there is some evidence of a link between mercury in the body to the development of multiple sclerosis and the development of certain cancers. That is why here at Los Gatos Dental Group, we have an established protocol for protecting the patient and the staff from these vapors.
What Replaces Mercury Fillings?
Your Los Gatos dentist can safely remove mercury-based fillings from your mouth using a safe procedure. If the filling was loose, then there may be some additional decay underneath that will need to be removed, as well. Once the tooth is free of decay, a tooth-colored filling is set in place of the metal one. Made of composite resin materials, this presents absolutely no health risk and is actually stronger and better for your tooth.
Whereas a metal filling is wedged into a tooth, composite fillings bond with the remaining tooth structure. Thus, the tooth is made stronger because pressure from biting and chewing is evenly distributed throughout the tooth, thereby reducing the risk of cracks or leakage under the filling. Best of all, a tooth-colored filling blends in seamlessly with the natural color of your smile.
Please contact our Los Gatos, CA practice today if you have any questions about removing mercury fillings. Dr. Gregory Sawyer, Dr. Matthew Diercks, and Dr. Liza Karamardian are ready to help. We also serve the nearby areas of San Jose, Campbell, Saratoga, Cupertino, and beyond.