Dental filling is not a new thing, it has been used widely in dentistry for repairing decayed, cracked or broken teeth. Usually, to treat a tooth cavity your dentist will remove the decayed portion of the tooth and then fill up the empty space with dental fillings. When carrying out a filling, there are several steps to follow in order to get to the desired result. It’s required that your dentist should trim off any excess material, and polish the final restoration. These is necessary, in order to avoid any complications after tooth filling.
Permanent dental fillings
Tooth filling can be permanent or temporary depending on the the filling material used. Some last for a longer period of time while some don’t last much. Your teeth can be filled with gold, tooth-colored composite, porcelain, silver amalgam or with glass materials. All this filling materials have their different prices and advantages, all you need to do is to pick the one suitable for you.
Temporal dental fillings are meant to last for a short while, maybe a month or two. Permanent fillings last longer but not forever, they can last for at least 5 years or more. This all depends on the filling material that you used, glass Ionomer fillings has the shortest life span. While gold fillings last longer for at least 15 years.
Is dental fillings safe?
This is the question that will come to your mind if you are about to get some dental fillings for the first time. Is this stuff really safe? Personally I haven’t had a dental filling before, but it’s quite scary and can make anyone to worry. Although, I haven’t received a filling but I have lots of friends who have.
My answer to that question is that the safest dental filling material can be different for every patient. Everyone is unique, what worked for you might not work for another person. The best way to determine the safest dental filling material for you is through test. For example, the Clifford Materials Reactivity Test is used to get a detailed information on your dental condition and also to determine dental products that may be suitable for you. Your dentist might take some part of your teeth, gums or a sample of your blood to carry out some tests.
After series of tests on numerous patients, dentists have found a few products that are safe for most of their patients. Silver amalgam and composite resins are most commonly used and recommended for dental filling. I will give you a list of some of the most recommended dental filling materials and also tell you what you need to know about their safety.
What is the Safest Dental Filling material?
Silver amalgam fillings are good, infact it’s among the most popular filling material in dentistry. Amalgam is made by the combination of silver, tin, copper and mercury. It is very affordable and has been used widely in dentistry for many years now.
The safety of using amalgam filings in dentistry has been strongly disputed by many dentists. Studies have shown that dental amalgams do release trace amounts of mercury. Lots of studies have been carried out on these, a study reported that high exposure to mercury from amalgam fillings causes health problems. It was also reported that you might experience kidney or brain damage, alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis as some of the health problems due to the exposure to mercury.
On the other side of the argument, it’s reported that the amount of mercury released from amalgam fillings is too small to worry about. The CDA and Health Canada stated that the amount released doesn’t pose any health risk to the average Canadian. Although, investigations and tests are still going on in order to get solid proofs.
However, the controversy stilled continued because it is almost impossible to determine the amount of mercury released into our bodies from fillings. Because of this some countries banned or restricted the use of amalgam filings in dentistry. If you are allergic to mercury, then you will need to look for other alternatives to amalgam fillings. I will reveal to you another dental fillings material that is among the safest dental filling material.
Most people choose amalgam fillings because they are cheaper and also lasts longer than most of other filling materials. Even though that composite resins does not last longer, most people do choose composite resins for dental fillings. Composite fillings have also been criticized by some dentists because of some controversial materials that it contains such as bisphenol-A (BPA).
Although, most dentists consider composite fillings as the safest dental fillings material because of its features. The filling has the same color as your natural teeth, making it unnoticeable after installation. However, studies have reported that bisphenol-A (BPA) found in composite resins can result to certain health problems in infants and children. Most countries banned the use of products that contains bisphenol-A (BPA) over concerns that it can lead to brain damage, increased moodiness and aggressive behavior.
From a 2012 study, Balevi reported saying “Some clinical studies have shown trace amounts of BPA in the saliva of patients immediately after they received a plastic dental filling. These were well below acceptable levels, and became undetectable a couple of hours later”
Balevi concluded by saying “None of these studies found an association between short-term trace exposure to BPA and any deleterious health outcome.” After the study it was concluded that composite resins are safe for dental filling.
There are many other products in Dentistry to choose from. But the big question is, are they safe too? Dental products are constantly changing and improving but not all of them are safe. A dental filling is not safe for you, if have allergic hypersensitivity to the filling material. Dentists will always tell you that a dental filling is safe for you unless there is a clear risk posed, such as allergic hypersensitivity.
In the quest of getting some dental fillings, nothing tested in recent years has matched the efficiency of composite resins or silver amalgam in dentistry.
To learn more on dental fillings you can check out some of my previous posts :
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