When it comes to cavities, most are familiar with amalgam fillings. They are those silver-colored dental fillings that were generally used to fill cavities. Unfortunately, there have been growing concerns with amalgam fillings due to their mercury content.

Despite the American Dental Association’s (ADA) assuring everyone that they are safe, some countries have banned these fillings. 

woman with bright red lipstick and hat shows off her smile

What’s the Concern?

The word “amalgam” means mixture. These fillings combine silver, copper, and mercury. While mercury is a toxin, the ADA states the fillings do not absorb into the human body. Past studies reveal they are harmless. However, many patients still don’t feel comfortable with them.

This is because these amalgam fillings are half-mercury, in weight. As the substance doesn’t stay within the filling, it can still move throughout your body. Therefore, there is a chance it can make its way to your organs, including your liver. For those who are pregnant, mercury can potentially spread to the baby. There are experts who believe it remains inactive as a filling. Yet, changes in chemicals can turn it toxic. People also worry these fillings are hazardous to the environment.

There are other reasons why dental patients don’t prefer amalgam fillings. They aren’t the most reliable when it comes to treating your cavities. The metal in them expands and contracts with hot and cold food and drink. As the fillings change the size, they can crack the tooth they should be protecting. This can also leave gaps for bacteria and decay to set in. These types of fillings can create more problems for you, in the end.

How Holistic Dentistry Helps

Thanks to advancements in technology, there are now other options dentists can use to fill cavities. That’s one of the many reasons why patients are turning to holistic dentistry.

“Holistic dentistry” is a practice that chooses all-natural materials for dental treatments and diagnosis. The concept behind holistic care is that a dentist should refrain from using toxins during procedures whenever possible to ensure whole-body health.

Alternatives To Amalgam Fillings

Holistic dentistry offers a number of options for cavities. First off, composite fillings combine plastic and ceramic materials. They are the same color as your teeth, which makes them aesthetically pleasing. Plus, the fillings “stick” to the surface of your tooth so your dentist doesn’t need to drill into your teeth to create room for the filling. With amalgam, healthy areas of the tooth are often shaved off during the procedure. This isn’t the case with composite treatments.

At the end of the day, composite fillings are durable, attractive, and healthier than silver fillings. Composite fillings are inexpensive and require only one visit. With that said, they don’t last as long as some patients would like and they can lose their polish, wear out, and suffer from staining over time.

Another option is ceramic or “porcelain” fillings. They may cost a little more, but the investment is worth it. That’s because they are the most attractive out of all the filling options and ceramic fillings have the longest lifespan. The only disadvantage is that it takes two appointments with your San Jose dentist to complete the procedure.

Can You Replace Your Amalgam Fillings?

You may decide on a holistic approach for fillings moving forward. However, don’t feel bad if you already have mercury fillings. You still have options. You can simply reach out to your holistic dentist to talk about replacing them. This is especially important to consider if you have immune system issues or are planning to get pregnant. Eliminating metal in your mouth is a good step towards staying healthy.

Finally, some patients have allergic reactions to some dental materials. If you feel like this is happening to you because of your amalgam fillings, call your dentist. They can help determine if you are allergic and replace the fillings.

Looking For A Holistic Dentist In San Jose?

Are you looking for a holistic dentist in the San Jose/Los Gatos area? Consider Top Down Dental. Dr. Nancy Nehawandian has extensive experience and education in holistic dentistry. She believes in promoting the use of non-toxic treatment and diagnosis methods. She also remains passionate about keeping her patients healthy through strong oral health care.

Lastly, Dr. Nehawandian takes the time to understand her patient’s needs, so that she can help them make positive choices. She can answer your questions, address concerns, and provide advice. To learn more about holistic dentistry and our all-natural approach to oral health care, contact Top Down Dental, today. You can call us at (408) 354-5600 or book an appointment online.