Phasing Out Amalgam Fillings

July 6, 2018

The dilemma with amalgam fillings is that they provide an excellent level of strength whilst also being very dark in colour and therefore highly visible.

It is often this latter reason that causes patients to opt for the more aesthetically pleasing option. There is also the question of mercury, which is used in amalgam fillings, but not in white ones. Mercury is a toxin but is deemed to be safe when used as a component in this tooth filling material.

Whilst there have always been patients who have concerns about this, action is finally being taken to phase out the use of amalgam fillings. This is apparently not because of their safety, or even their high visibility, but due to concerns about the amount of mercury that is currently being released into the environment through their use.

Under 15s

Under an agreement between the British government and the EU, the use of amalgam is now gradually being phased out. This started on the 1st July 2018 with a ruling that dentists can no longer use amalgam fillings on children under 15 or for pregnant or breastfeeding women, unless there are genuine medical reasons for doing so.

This is phase one of the reduction of amalgam fillings and there are sure to be more to follow.

Are white fillings as good?

Some products that do an excellent job get banned because of safety concerns, with their substitutes sometimes lacking the qualities of the original. Whilst there have traditionally been some concerns as to how strong white dental fillings were, this is no longer the case, with white fillings providing a strength now almost equal to amalgam.

Whilst suitable for most types of cavities; where they are very large and a lot of pressure would be exerted upon them, your Cheshunt dentist may recommend the use of an inlay or onlay instead.

Your smile

It goes without saying that your smile will look nicer if a white filling is used instead of an amalgam one. Even rear filled teeth can be visible when we yawn or laugh. At The Lodge Dental Suite we are able to match the colour of the filling to that of your natural tooth, rendering your filling almost invisible. Whilst there is no need to remove any amalgam fillings that you already have; if you wish to improve their appearance by replacing the amalgam with a white filling, our Cheshunt cosmetic dental team are able to do this for you safely.

If you would like more information about white fillings, or for any general dental care advice, you can call The Lodge Dental Suite on 01992 643388. Our friendly team look forward to speaking with you!

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