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Phone: 989-773-3560

900 E Bellows St, Mt Pleasant, MI 48858


 

Blog

Make Your Fillings Disappear for the Holidays

Posted in Tooth Filling | November 30, 2021

At the holidays, there’s always something you’d like to see go away. Maybe it’s that frozen slush on Bellows Street. Maybe it’s the holiday crowds at The Brass. Maybe it’s that uncle from Cheboygan who has come to visit for “a couple days.” 

Or this year, you could make those silver spots on your molars go away. You could come see Dr. Egger and have him replace an old silver amalgam filling or two with composite resin, which is invisible when in your tooth. Goodbye, silver fillings! 

It was always easy to spot when a person had a filling up until about a decade ago — all you had to do was look for the silver in their molars. That silver is silver amalgam, the standard filling of choice since the 1800s. 

But there are a few problems with amalgam fillings, so there has been a move to make stronger and stronger composite resin that closely matches the color of the natural tooth. It’s virtually impossible to spot a composite filling. Composite resin is the filling material of choice for Dr. Egger. 

What’s the deal with silver amalgam? 

Silver amalgam is nothing near, to say the least! It’s been used for dental fillings for around 150 years. Hundreds of millions of teeth have had amalgam fillings placed in them. 

What most people don’t know, however, is that dental amalgam is a mixture of metals consisting of liquid mercury and a powdered alloy comprised of silver, tin, and copper. OK, who wants to have a mine’s worth of metals in their mouth? 

Amalgam fillings are very strong, but here are the problems with them: 

  •     They are unsightly. When you open your mouth everyone can see exactly how many amalgam fillings you have.
  •     They require more of the healthy tooth to be removed. Silver amalgam isn’t bonded onto the tooth; it is packed in. To adequately anchor the filling more of the healthy tooth (in addition to the decayed portion) needs to be removed and a ridged surface is created to hold the amalgam.
  •     No one wants mercury in his or her mouth. While they’ve been deemed safe, people are less and less interested in having a combination of metals, particularly mercury, in their mouth.
  •     Amalgam fillings can crack teeth. Because the metals expand and contract with hot and cold, amalgam fillings can cause the tooth to crack.

Composite fillings to the rescue 

Dr. Egger still places some amalgam fillings, particularly if the patient insists, but he prefers composite resin. Composite resin is a combination of powdered glass and acrylic resin. Formerly, the problem with composite resin has been that it hasn’t been as durable as amalgam or gold. But technology has continually improved to where composite resin today is just about as durable as amalgam. 

Here are the advantages of composite fillings: 

  •     Composite fillings match the color or your tooth enamel, so they blend perfectly and cannot be seen.
  •     Composite is metal- and mercury-free.
  •     The filling is bonded to the tooth, which actually pulls inward on the tooth’s periphery, making the tooth stronger.
  •     Tooth-colored fillings require less healthy tooth tissue to be removed.

The next time you need a filling (or need to have an old amalgam filling replaced), odds are it will be a composite filling. And no one will know your tooth is filled at all. 

Give your mouth the gift of no more silver. Call Dr. Egger at (989) 773-3560 to make your appointment.


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