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Monday 9:00am - 6:00pm

Tuesday -Thursday
8:00am - 5:00pm

Friday 8:00am - 12:00pm

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Specials hours

Monday 9:00am - 5:00pm

Tuesday -Thursday
8:00am - 5:00pm

Friday,Saturday,Sunday Closed

Phone: 989-773-3560

900 E Bellows St, Mt Pleasant, MI 48858


Fillings 101


Fillings 101

Tooth Filling Mount Pleasant MI

Carries. Who knows what that word means? Well, you probably know it by another term, tooth decay. It’s the most common form of the oral disease known to man, dental caries.

You probably think of them as “cavities.” But that term doesn’t fit what’s going on. That term probably came from the fact that once the dentist cleans out the decay, what is left is a cavity, space. And that cavity can’t be left open, as food debris and bacteria would become lodged in there. It needs to be filled.

Now comes your next term, “fillings.”

Dr. Egger fills dental caries every day. Increasingly what he uses to fill those cavities is composite resin, colloquially known as tooth-colored fillings.

Mercury in your mouth

Most people think the silver fillings in their molars are, well, made of silver. They’re not silver; they consist of mostly mercury! Holy bottom of the Detroit River, Batman! Yes, that is disconcerting to many people. Silver fillings are made of silver amalgam. To make them, dentists mix mercury (50% of the eventual filling) with a powder comprised of silver, copper, tin, or zinc (usually a combination of some or all of those). That sounds like a mine tailing pile in the U.P.! Scary. But the FDA has studied amalgam extensively and found it safe. Plus, the stuff has been used for fillings since the 1800s. Why? It is strong and durable.

Disadvantages of amalgam fillings

Beyond their grey appearance, silver amalgam fillings have other drawbacks. The edges of the filling can wear down, become weak, or break. This creates an environment where decay can take hold again. Also, with age the mercury, silver, and other metals in amalgam fillings expand and contract. This can make the filling split, or it can even crack a tooth. Plus, they can corrode, leak, and stain your adjacent teeth and your gums.

Tooth-colored restorations

That’s why Dr. Egger and other dentists are filling more and more decayed teeth with tooth-colored restorations using resin onlays. The resin is made of a mixture of plastic and glass, and it is bonded to the teeth in layers, making them structurally strong. Plus they create a tight, superior fit to the tooth. And, unlike amalgam fillings, where a part of the healthy tooth needs to be removed to make room for the filling, Resin composite fillings can be placed into teeth that have lost much of their tooth structure. This is because the resin pulls on the areas of the tooth it is bonded to, adding some strength.

Some resins even contain fluoride to prevent future decay. How cool is that?

It’s OK to say no to mercury and amalgam fillings. The odds are your next filling with Dr. Egger will be composite resin, and you won’t be able to see it once it’s placed. Call us at (989) 773-3560 to make your next appointment.