While the ADA officially states that the mercury level in amalgam fillings is safe, our office takes no chances with your health. In fact, we won’t compromise your all-white smile with metal dental work of any kind.
For dental fillings, we use safe, durable composite resin and for most dental crowns, we use all-porcelain restorations. Your smile is part of your personality and your image. We will partner with you to maintain your oral health and your natural-looking, gorgeous smile.
This page will discuss our mercury- and metal-free dentistry options, but to learn more about their advantages, we recommend you speak with West University dentist Dr. Heather Fleschler in person. Please call 713-660-6500 today to schedule an appointment at our Houston office.
Composite Vs. Amalgam Fillings
Amalgam fillings were initially developed from a combination of silver shavings, zinc, copper, tin, and mercury as a low-cost alternative to gold restorations. Despite knowledge that mercury is hazardous to humans, amalgams gained popularity as dentistry became more available to the masses.
Aside from their potential toxicity, amalgam/mercury fillings pose other risks. Amalgams are temperature-sensitive, expanding and contracting when they come into contact with hot and cold. This can cause hairline fractures and tooth sensitivity. Over time, an amalgam-treated tooth can weaken, often creating a liability to your long-term dental health.
Amalgams on biting surfaces can change shape with biting and chewing impact. Tiny cracks in the material or between the filling and natural tooth structure can allow bacterial reinvasion, creating a bigger decay problem than you had at first. Additionally, metal fillings detract from the integrity of your smile and can damage your self-confidence.
Composite, tooth colored fillings are bonded with adhesive to your tooth structure, protecting against decay and strengthening the tooth. This bond can make a composite filling last for seven to ten years. Composite fillings provide long-term bacterial invasion protection, too. Once bonded, a composite filling won’t wear down or change shape, despite the incredible forces of biting and chewing. Bacteria and food particles cannot enter the tooth. Because they’re tinted to match your natural tooth color, composite fillings will blend seamlessly with your smile.
Porcelain crowns are highly aesthetic and restore structure, strength, and function to a tooth with extensive decay or damage. Porcelain’s translucent quality reflects light similarly to tooth enamel, making the crowned tooth difficult to discern from the ones nature gave you. Designed to fit snugly and function as a healthy tooth, a dental crown will protect your tooth from further damage and preserve the jaw’s correct natural alignment. Typically, we can design, fit, and place your all-porcelain crown in just a couple of short appointments.