What are Mercury-Free Fillings?

by on November 27, 2013 in Cosmetic Dentistry
What are Mercury-Free Fillings?

Fillings can be made out of many different materials, but just a generation ago, one of the main fillers used was mercury. In fact, some places around the world still used mercury to fill cavities up until relatively recently. Now that the health risks are becoming more widely known, dentists are using new types of fillers to protect both your teeth and your overall health. 

The New Types of Fillings
There are numerous types of mercury-free fillings that can safely be used to fill your cavities without risking your health. Here are some of the most common materials and their perks.

  1. Gold: gold lasts a long time, plus it wears well, protecting your teeth from additional damage for an average of 10 to 15 years. 
  2. Silver: this is less expensive than gold, and lasts nearly the same length of time. 
  3. Composite materials: these can be shaded to match the color of your teeth and look like you have no fillings at all.
  4. Porcelain: this costs about the same amount of money as a gold filling, but it typically lasts longer than the 15 years gold usually lasts.
  5. Glass: a combination of glass and acrylic is used for these fillings, but they tend to only last a few years, making them an ideal material for a child's tooth.

The Dangers Mercury Can Pose 
Mercury can harm both your health and the environment, simply by having filled a cavity within a tooth. You are consistently being exposed to the vapors that mercury gives off when it is sitting inside your mouth, and this can cause damage to your health that may be irreversible. Pregnant women are at even higher risk for health risks as mercury building up in the body can cross into the developing baby's body as well. Here are just a few of the hazards that coincide with mercury use:

  • Neurological Impairment
  • Brain Damage
  • Birth Defects 
  • Kidney Deterioration
  • Pollution (Water, soil, and air)

Don't Risk Exposure for Another Day
If you are unsure of what types of fillings you currently have, you should contact Fresh Pond Dental office in Cambridge immediately. You can find out what type of fillings you currently have, and if you have any that contain mercury, you can consult one of the experienced restorative dentists within the practice.  

Even The United Nations is Taking Action
As of October of this year, the United Nations went so far as to sign the Minamata Convention on Mercury, which sets up new guidelines and firm restrictions on when and how mercury can be used around the world. This includes using mercury for any type of dental work. Since the dangers to the health and environment were scientifically proven, the world has decided to take action. If you have been exposed, you should be sure to take action, too.

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