Amalgam Fillings from Primary Dental Care

Amalgam fillings have been used by dentists for over 150 years. These popular fillings, which are one of various types offered by Primary Dental Care in Garden Grove, California, are strong, long lasting, and relatively inexpensive. However, today people have choices other than amalgams, such as composite fillings or porcelain inlays.

Materials in Amalgams

Amalgam fillings are so named because they are composed of a combination of metal materials. These fillings are made of powdered copper, tin, and silver and are held together by liquid mercury.

Liquid mercury is used because it bonds extremely well with the powdered metals, and it is the only metal that is liquid at room temperature, making it easy to use. About half of a dental amalgam filling is comprised of mercury and the other half is made up of the other metals.

The Process

At Primary Dental Care if you have a cavity, the dentist will use a high-speed drill to clean the tooth of all decay, making sure that the cavity, once filled, will be free from any agents that might cause further problems. The dentist will also shape the cavity to ensure that the filling will properly fill the tooth.

Once the cavity is clean, your dentist will fill it with the dental amalgam, mixing the liquid mercury and powdered metals together and careful placing them in the cavity. Once the amalgam filling is in place, it is carefully shaped so that it accommodates your bite. The filling bonds and dries quickly.

Concerns about Mercury

When patients learn that mercury is used in amalgam fillings they often become concerned about possible dangers, as certain levels of mercury can harm humans. The concern connected with filling has to do with mercury vapor, of which small amounts are released from the filling and can be inhaled. High levels of mercury vapor can adversely affect the brain and kidneys.

The levels of vapor released by dental amalgam fillings is very low. The Food and Drug Administration, after reviewing scientific evidence, has determined that these fillings are safe for adults and for children six years of age and older. It’s been found that the amount of mercury in the bodies of those who have fillings made of amalgam is well below any levels that might potentially cause harm. The clinical studies that have been conducted on adults and children who are six and older have found no evidence to connect dental amalgam fillings with any associated health concerns or problems.

You Have Choices

At Primary Dental care in Garden Grove, California, our patients are given choices when it comes to dental fillings. Often, someone can choose between amalgam fillings or composite fillings. Composites, which are made of plastic and glass, are more expensive, but they are also extremely durable and often preferred because they match the natural color of one’s teeth. For further information on dental amalgam fillings or to make an appointment with a dentist at Primary Dental Care, call 714-537-5700. We are ready to provide for all of your dental needs.