Why our dental treatments don’t use mercury based products.
Have you ever wondered why the fillings in your teeth are such an unnatural colour? Why, when you smile, you have to reveal teeth that are filled with a dark grey material?
The fact is that this type of filling, called amalgam, has been widely used in the UK since the early 1820s and has proved its worth as far as its strength goes. Until relatively recently, there has been nothing that could match mercury fillings as far as its strength was concerned.
Although, at the time, this must have seemed like a miracle discovery, as time has gone by researchers, health experts and dentists have all become increasingly concerned by one of the key components of this filling; namely mercury.
Mercury, in its liquid form, is known to be highly toxic and harmful to health. It has always been considered though, that in solid form such as in amalgam fillings, it was safe to use.
As research has become more advanced there have been significant findings that even the solid fillings may leak mercury fumes which are taken into the lungs and the bloodstream. This has been linked to some heart problems and is also thought likely to be a contributory factor towards Alzheimer’s disease. In the UK we even use amalgam fillings in children and given the mounting concerns, we feel that this really is something to avoid gambling with.
Alternatives to Mercury based fillings
It is widely acknowledged that amalgam fillings offer excellent strength and most previous attempts to produce an alternative have been a failure. Although some white fillings were produced, these have only ever been useful for the front teeth and not the rear teeth where most of the chewing takes place.
Recent developments though have produced a form of white tooth filling which has excellent strength qualities and is comparable to amalgam fillings. This new type of natural coloured filling is now used in countries such as Norway and Denmark where the use of amalgam has been banned. Other countries, such as Japan, have also placed restrictions on the use of amalgam in dentistry.
Our Birmingham dental practice policy
Despite a lot of pressure, the ban on amalgam fillings has not yet happened in the UK and regulating bodies still insist it is safe to use. However, for some time we have considered that not only is a ban inevitable at some point but that using amalgam fillings for our patients is not acceptable from a health risk point of view.
To this end, our dental practice is now fully mercury free and non of our dental materials contains any mercury. Instead, we now offer white tooth coloured fillings and, with the use of our CEREC technology, we can also produce onlays and inlays as an alternative to fillings, where appropriate.
Not only does the use of this technology mean that you will receive excellent strong fillings for your teeth, but also that any risk from the old-style mercury based products is completely eradicated.Google+