Amalgam

10 May 2011 | Advice

Here at Studio Moll Dental Clinic amalgam has not been used for the last 15 years. Conversely, we remove and replace amalgam fillings.

The main component of amalgam used for fillings is mercury (52%) combined with copper, tin, zinc or silver. Specialists from all over the world have long claimed that this alloy is a “stable compound”, which poses no health risk, but now we know that mercury is released from the amalgam due to wear and corrosion, making the surface of the teeth, once smooth and shiny, look like that of the moon. Certainly nobody would ingest heavy metals, which accumulate and never leave our body.

If you have gold crowns or nickel-chrome dental prosthesis, your chances of mercury poisoning increase considerably. In fact, the amalgam metals combined with gold determine an accumulation effect due to ions and salt in the saliva causing electric current, which will corrode the less noble metal. It is important not to have dissimilar metals in the mouth.

Amalgam can be replaced with new materials, such as resins and ceramic resins, which are glued to the tooth.
Simple, small-sized fillings can be replaced with composite resin fillings. The big disadvantage of composite fillings is that they wear out faster than silver fillings, as they are less hard than the enamel of the antagonist, the tooth with which the filling is in occlusion. There is also the risk of infiltration, because in case of microfracture, bacteria will quickly penetrate and may cause secondary cavities. One of the advantages of the amalgam was the oxidation of metal in these cracks, preventing the formation of secondary cavities as a result of the bactericidal effect of the oxides that form.

When a large filling must be replaced, the best choice would be a dental inlay. It is a laboratory hand-made filling in noble metal or in ceramic, or in resin composite . We work mainly with highly aesthetic ceramic and resin inlays. When the amalgam is removed, we face one of its big drawbacks. Metals cause stains on the porous tissue of a tooth and may leave a dark grey mark even on decay-free areas. Usually this problem is solved by cementing the inlay.