Ventura Center for Dental Health is dedicated to using the highest quality materials in our practice. Our commitment to excellence has led us to only use tooth-colored composite filling materials. We do not use “silver amalgam fillings” which contain mercury.
Photos of Actual Patients
What is Dental Amalgam?
Dental amalgam is the term dentists use to refer to what patients know as a silver filling. Despite its name, silver is only one small part of what makes up dental amalgam they also contain copper, tin, and other materials like mercury (which is mostly where its color comes from). Actually, mercury comprises 50% of a silver filling! As fillings age and tarnish, they slowly darken in color from silver to black. Many patients have even shown to be allergic to one or more of the materials in traditional silver fillings, requiring an alternative.
What alternatives are there to dental amalgams?
There are actually several alternatives to conventional metal fillings! Composite resin fillings are made of a white-colored, versatile material that blend in almost seamlessly with the surrounding teeth, making your fillings impossible to see in casual interactions. Porcelain restorations like crowns and veneers, and porcelain-fused to metal crowns are also alternatives to the traditional dental amalgams. Be sure to ask Drs. Fisch, Mizraji, Chang & Sastiel which restoration types and materials will give you the best and longest-lasting results.
Are there other reasons for removing dental amalgam?
Yes, there are many reasons that traditional metal fillings would need to be removed. The biggest problem with dental amalgam is that it does not truly bond with the surrounding tooth material, which means that even though it is standing in the place of real tooth, it does not behave in the same way. When exposed to very hot or very cold temperatures (like hot coffee or ice cream), the metal in the amalgam will slightly expand or contract, causing small microleaks in the tooth, which allow for a wide range of problems, from new cavities to chipped or broken teeth.
1. Contain metals that expand and contract with hot and cold temperatures, causing leakage and decay over time and potentially fractures and breaks.
2. Require more of your natural tooth material to be removed to hold the metal fillings in place, which weakens the structure and inevitably lessens the overall lifespan of the tooth.
3. Discolors the tooth as it erodes, making it appear dark.
Porcelain and Composite Restorations:
1. Provide the ability to save more of your natural tooth than conventional fillings, keeping more of the tooth intact.
2. Are strong and support the tooth through its more permanent and natural bond with the tooth’s material.
3. Are more attractive because they look like your own tooth.
4. They are long-lasting and durable.