Elgin Dentist Wants to Put Composite Over Amalgam- Is This Ok?

I see another Elgin dentist and I recently asked him if he would replace my old metal fillings. My primary concern is health. I don’t want to have mercury in my mouth anymore. At the same time, they’re an eyesore. I’d much rather have all my teeth done up in white, so nobody can tell I’ve had fillings. Anyway, he told me that it would be better for me to leave them alone because they’re not causing trouble, but he eventually agreed to put the white over the top if I wanted him to. He says that the amalgam won’t be visible at all and that the composite will lock in the mercury, so it no longer escapes. I’m not totally convinced yet. After all, it’s still in my body, so it can still get into my blood stream, right? Is what this other Elgin dentist says true or should I find someone else to do the work?



Dear Iris,

You might want to take what that particular Elgin dentist said with a grain of salt. First off, it’s difficult to get a good enough match over the top of metal that the filling won’t show through. He’d have to be very skilled at cosmetic dentistry and be able to add layers to block out the metal color and then build back up and add some translucency to the fillings as well. This is difficult to do as it is, but if he’s talking about doing it without prepping the tooth at all, you’re going to wind up with extra bulk on any of the teeth he does. Best case scenario, it feels awkward. Worst case, it messes up your bite and causes damage.

As far as mercury transfer goes, this is still a “fringe science.” You’ll have to remember that the FDA and all government agencies still say that amalgam is safe. However, those interested in mercury-free treatment options tend to worry that everything is connected. And, as such, the spread of mercury is inevitable. Teeth do have tiny pore-like structures. Most of the time they’re closed, but things like tooth bleaching and other dental procedures can open them up. It’s really not too much of a stretch to say that some of the vapor could escape that way or enter into the pulp chamber, in which case it will enter into your bloodstream. Again, though, this is all theoretical. There aren’t any studies that suggest it happens or that there’s any risk here.

All that aside, amalgam fillings flex some when you bite. So, if anything is bonded to them, that flex is going to cause the bond to break and you could wind up with leakage. The mercury vapor would still escape and bacteria can enter and create a cavity.

It sounds like you may have twisted his arm a little when he said he didn’t want to do the procedure. That’s never a good idea because you could wind up encouraging him to do something he isn’t comfortable with or lacks the skill to do right. If you want to have the fillings redone, have a consult with a different Elgin dentist and explore your options.

This blog is sponsored byElgin dentist, Dr. Steve Sirin.

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