Our discussion will centered around non-toxic dental filling today. Hence, to fix a cavity, your dentist will remove the decayed area of your tooth and fill the cavity where the decayed portion used to be.
Fillings can be one or more combinations of plastics, metals, or glass that are used to repair teeth. These defects may be cracked, broken, or worn out teeth caused by misuses like tooth grinding or nail biting.
Over time, new research and improvements in technology have proved that not all dental materials are as safe as we once believed.
As a result, there are a lot of toxic materials used in dentistry today, like silver amalgam fillings that are 50% mercury by weight and plastics that are full of Bisphenol A (BPA).
Although they are still much in use in the US, you should look towards a safer option which is the use of non-toxic dental materials for the sake of your health.
So in this blog post, we will be discussing non-toxic dental filling options that ensure your tooth and general well-being are in good condition.
What Is A Non-Toxic Dental Filling
A non-toxic dental filling is a dental treatment that protects the health of the body while restoring the shape and function of a person’s natural teeth.
Even though amalgam fillings and cheap composite fillings have been used in dentistry for a long time, they could be harmful to your health. That is why you need to choose and ensure your dentist uses safer biocompatible materials instead.
The Issue With Traditional Dental Material
Below are some of the problems that result due to the use of traditional dental materials.
1. Amalgam Fillings
For over a century, silver and mercury amalgam fillings have been used in the treatment of cavities. This is because it is cheap and an easy means of filling gaps in teeth and preventing decay.
This type of filling was mostly used at the back teeth because the dark color of metal amalgam fillings is less noticeable at that spot
As a result, mercury, nickel, copper, and metals such as tin are still used by many dentists as part of amalgam fillings.
The problem with mercury fillings is that mercury vapor is very poisonous. Being exposed to mercury over time can cause mercury poisoning and other health problems. Researchers in dentistry have found that mercury poisoning from fillings can lead to the following illnesses.
- Thyroid disorders.
- Allergic reactions.
- Heart disease.
- Alzheimer’s disease.
- Chronic fatigue syndrome.
- Multiple sclerosis.
- Oral cancer.
How Does The Mercury Get Out Of Fillings?
Even though amalgam fillings aren’t dangerous when they’re solid, the gases can escape from them when you engage in certain habits like drinking hot or acidic drinks, chewing food, or grinding your teeth.
The American Dental Association (ADA) says that the amount of mercury vapor given off by dental amalgams is safe but studies indicates that it causes problems for some people.
Disadvantages of Dental Amalgam Fillings
i. As well as being bad for your health, dental amalgam fillings only last 10 to 15 years and can cause your natural teeth to crack because they expand and contract.
ii. When silver and gold fillings are close to each other, they can also react and cause galvanic shock.
iii. When silver fillings that contain mercury are replaced, the mercury already in the filling can lead to the release of more mercury which is toxic to the health.
2. Cheap Composite Fillings
Some people get other composite fillings that are cheap but are not very healthy. These include components of composite resin.
Composite resin is another type of material that is common with dentists as they tend to use it quite often.
These fillings are usually made from a combination of plastic and glass. But not all fillings made of composite resin are the same.
Early composite resins had chemicals in them like BPA, and many still contain chemicals such as BisGMA, BHT, HMBP, DPCL, TPSb, HEMA, and TEGDMA. All these chemicals are toxic to the body.
Why Is Bpa Dangerous?
BPA has been linked to several problems with the endocrine system, such as hindering fetal development, reproduction, and growth.
If you have a dental issue that requires dental bonding to fix a chipped tooth or treat very mild tooth decay, ensure to ask your dentist to use a composite resin that is free of BPA and, other chemicals listed above.
Non-Toxic Dental Fillings
Luckily there are other non-toxic materials that could be used to fill cavities. A good example of one of such materials is porcelain.
Dentists can now take care of your dental health with materials that aren’t toxic using porcelain. This material doesn’t release any chemicals into the body.
Porcelain comes with many advantages over amalgam and composite resin. They include the following:
a. There isn’t much chance of getting sick or having an allergic reaction.
b. You can match the color of these fillings to that of the teeth.
c. Porcelain fillings add to the structure of your natural teeth and are as strong as or stronger than your natural teeth.
d. Porcelain fillings usually last at least 15 years or longer. This makes them the most durable biocompatible dental fillings available today.
The Placement Of Porcelain Fillings
Before putting in a porcelain filling, your dentist will remove any decay and take an impression of the area that needs to be filled. If the hole or damage is inside the tooth, you will get a porcelain inlay but if it is outside the teeth, then porcelain onlay is required.
Your dentist will make an impression of your teeth and send it to a dental lab, where these porcelain inlays or onlays will be produced. Once your custom-made pieces are ready, your dentist will cement them to your teeth to finish the final restoration.
Other Porcelain Dental Additions To Teeth
Even though porcelain inlays and onlays are relatively well-known, ceramic is also used in many ways in dental care.
Porcelain can be used to make crowns, bridges, and even dental implants if the damage to your natural tooth structure is too bad for fillings.
Like porcelain fillings, other porcelain additions need at least two steps to complete. But the wait is worth it because the repair will last.
Cost Of Getting A Non-Toxic Dental Filling
The main reason why toxic materials are used in dentistry is that they are cheaper. Most silver fillings cost between $50 and $300, while fillings made of composite resin can cost anywhere from $90 to $450 or more.
Even though these alternatives are more cost-effective than porcelain inlays and onlays, which can cost from $250 to $1,500, the negative effects on your health can end up costing you more in the long run.
If you don’t have enough money to get a porcelain dental filling, you can explore other payment options. Some clinics let patients set up payment plans so they can get the safe, high-quality care they need. Many patients can also get a loan with low-interest rates.
A Porcelain Filling Is An Investment In Your Health
Patients and dentists all over the world are becoming more aware of the risks of mercury poisoning and BPA in fillings.
If you have metal amalgam fillings or composite resin fillings and think they might be bad for your health, it’s a great idea to replace them with a porcelain alternative.
Dental fillings made of non-toxic porcelain are safe, stronger, stain resistant, and durable. Porcelain dental fillings are an investment that takes care of both your oral health and general well-being in the long run.
Cavities are a common problem, and fillings are the only way to fix them. Thankfully there is an alternative which is the non-toxic dental filling method. Patients should overlook the initial cost of this non-toxic option and choose one that cares for their overall well-being.
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