A toddler’s first dental cleaning is one of many rites of passage. Establishing a pattern of routine dental visits is an important oral care lesson you can teach your children, which can provide them with a lifetime of healthy smiles.
In an ideal world, we would all be born with perfect smiles. However, despite our best at-home oral care, many of us will need dental care at some time in our lives. Whether you have comprehensive issues like our first president George Washington and his famous dentures, or just need to get a cavity filled, dentists like those here at Perfect Smiles Dentistry are ready and able to help.
In fact, as one of the oldest health care professions, dentists have been helping patients for hundreds of years. The practice of dentistry has evolved significantly over the years, but it’s probably the tools and materials that dentists use that have affected patients the most. Take dental fillings, for example.
When the father of modern dentistry, French surgeon Pierre Fauchard first introduced the concept of dental fillings in 1723, metal amalgams, or mixtures of metals, were common and remained that way for hundreds of years. Actually, during the Civil War in the United States, silver, tin, and mercury were dentists’ go-to metals for fillings in both the South and the North.
Although amalgams, sometimes referred to as silver fillings, are definitely strong and provide an inexpensive option for filling a cavity, they sorely lack in the area of aesthetics. Can you say metal mouth? Kavitha Gowda, DDS, and our dental and professional team at Perfect Smiles Dentistry offer metal-free dentistry. Here’s how it can benefit you.
Let’s start off by addressing the elephant in the room – mercury. Mercury is one of the metals included in amalgams and has been at the center of controversy around their continued use due to possible associated health risks. But reports from a plethora of research studies have been unable to definitively link amalgam fillings to medical illnesses.
Both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the American Dental Association, as well as other public health experts, consider amalgams to be a safe option for consumers. However, some patients and medical professionals remain concerned.
The fact of the matter is amalgams do contain mercury. The good news is that with metal-free dentistry, those patients who want to err on the side of abundant caution can. To us metal-free dentistry simply supports our practice motto: “We Go Beyond Dental Care. We Care For You!”
We offer our patients composite resin fillings, sometimes called white fillings. Composite resin is basically a glass and tooth-colored plastic combination material. Aside from not containing mercury, the big plus of composite resin fillings is they look more like your natural tooth’s color. This makes it hard to detect a filling at all as it blends in with the surrounding teeth.
Composite resins can be used to fix a wide variety of restorations such as broken, chipped, or worn teeth. Since composite resin is so natural-looking, it’s a great option for front teeth and teeth that are visible when you smile. You may need lots of dental work done, but it will be our secret. No more metal mouth for you.
Another key characteristic of amalgam fillings is that the metal reacts to temperature, contracting when exposed to cold and expanding in warmer temperatures. These cycles of contraction and expansion over a period of time can damage the restored tooth by cracking or weakening it.
Composite resin fillings and restorations are applied by bonding the material to a tooth, removing the potential for reaction to temperature.
Another added bonus is that since composite resin is bonded to the tooth, we generally remove less structure to prepare it for restoration compared to preparing a tooth for an amalgam restoration. In this case, less is definitely more.
Ready for a cleaner, more natural look for your dental restorations? Contact Dr. Gowda and our dental team here at Perfect Smiles Dentistry in Everett, Washington, and learn about the metal-free dentistry difference. Book your appointment using our online tool or call today.
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