Today’s composites or “tooth colored fillings” offer several advantages:
- Since they bond to the tooth, composite fillings restore most of the original strength of the tooth.
- Composite fillings restore the natural appearance of the tooth.
- Composites are mercury-free.
- Composites require less removal of tooth structure. Especially with new cavities, the size of the hole made for the filling can be dramatically smaller with composites.
Reasons to remove metal fillings:
Metal fillings act as a wedge. Every time you bite down, you’re driving the wedge further and further into your tooth, causing cracking and splitting. Metal fillings are made of amalgam. Amalgam expands and contracts with temperature changes and biting, which are commonplace in the mouth. Therefore, teeth with amalgam are routinely being weakened. If left alone, this could lead to more costly procedures down the road, such as, root canal therapy, crowns or even extraction due to fracture.
Amalgam also contains mercury, which is a very toxic element. The literature is very unclear as to the amount of mercury that is released from amalgams and the long-term effects on the entire body.
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