Join Now!      Login

Whole Person Wellness Program Wellness Model
Skip Navigation Links
Health Centers
Key Services
America's Worst Enemy?
What is the leading cause of death in the United States?
Auto Accidents
Heart Disease
Perscription Meds


 Dental Filling Choices 
The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled Integrative Dentistry by . View all columns in series
There has been a major shift in the type of filling materials and choices available for dental restorations. In 1990 approximately 70% of the fillings placed in teeth by the dentist were the amalgam or silver/mercury fillings. In 1999 that has changed to only 45% of the fillings composed of the amalgam type.

In the past most dentists were resisting the change to the white resin type of filling materials because they felt they could not compare to the amalgam for strength and durability. However, over the years dental science has become more technologically sophisticated and the filling material choices have improved significantly.

Cosmetic concerns and demands have been one of the reasons why the shift for more choices and improvement of dental materials has come about. Patients do not choose the grayish, black appearance of the amalgam in a tooth when presented with the choice of a tooth colored filling. Many are even requesting the non-mercury fillings and will even change dentists if they are given no choice.

In addition to the cosmetic issue, lawyers across the country have been leading anti-mercury lawsuits alleging health problems due to the mercury in amalgam. Amalgams are composed of approximately 60% mercury and the rest is a composite of various metals including silver, nickel, copper, and tin. The American Dental Association is still consistent with its stand on the viability of the amalgam filling material.

Although the demand for the non-mercury fillings is increasing, dental insurance companies have not caught up with all the demand for them. Most of the plans only cover the amalgam fillings and the patient has to pay the difference if they want the white fillings. However, as research continues to back and support the white resin fillings, the insurance plans will take notice, and a few do cover them now.

For the present time, dentists and their patients are weighing all their options. The amalgam has been around for over 100 years, it is durable, inexpensive and covered by all insurance plans. The disadvantage is that many reports are indicating that the mercury is released in vapor form and causing health hazards. The composite resin fillings are also durable, resistant to fracture, and have excellent aesthetic appeal. The disadvantage is that it may shrink slightly over time, permitting decay.

Other choices for filling material include gold. This is a very durable material, leak-resistant, and allergies to it are rare. It is expensive, however, has poor aesthetics, and conducts heat and cold. Porcelain filling materials have excellent aesthetics, moderate durability, and no known allergic reactions. They are just as expensive as the gold fillings.

As patients, it's wise to get informed and choose the filling material that is suitable for you, and no longer depend on the only choice used in the past: the gray, black "silver" fillings.

 Comments Add your comment 

 About The Author
Flora Stay, DDS holds a doctor of dental surgery degree from University of California, San Francisco. She is the founder of ...moreFlora Stay DDS
 From Our Friends
Popular & Related Products
Popular & Featured Events
2019 National Wellness Conference
     October 1-3, 2019
     Kissimmee, FL USA
Additional Calendar Links
Dimensions of Wellness
Wellness, Thinking, dimension!

Home       Wellness       Health A-Z       Alternative Therapies       Wellness Inventory       Wellness Center
Healthy Kitchen       Healthy Woman       Healthy Man       Healthy Child       Healthy Aging       Nutrition Center       Fitness Center
Discount Lab Tests      First Aid      Global Health Calendar      Privacy Policy     Contact Us
Disclaimer: The information provided on HealthWorld Online is for educational purposes only and IS NOT intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Are you ready to embark on a personal wellness journey with our whole person approach?
Learn More/Subscribe
Are you looking to create or enhance a culture of wellness in your organization?
Learn More
Do you want to become a wellness coach?
Learn More
Free Webinar