8 Pros and Cons of Dental Amalgam Fillings

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If you’ve ever had a cavity filled, chances are your dentist used dental amalgam to do it. Dental amalgam is a mixture of metals, including silver, tin, copper, and mercury. Despite the controversies surrounding dental amalgam, it remains one of the most popular materials used in dental fillings. In this article, we’ll explore why dental amalgam is still used and the pros and cons of this material.

A woman with black curly hair pointing at the logo of Dr. Michael Koumas, DDS PC and the phone number (845)562-1108 root canal dental amalgam

The Pros of Dental Amalgam

Despite the controversies surrounding dental amalgam, there are some advantages to using this material for fillings. Here are some of the pros of dental amalgam:

Durability: Dental amalgam is known for its durability and can last up to 15 years or longer. This means that patients who receive amalgam fillings may not need to have them replaced as often as those who receive other types of fillings.

Cost-effective: Compared to other types of fillings, dental amalgam is relatively inexpensive. This makes it a popular choice for patients who may not have dental insurance or who are on a tight budget.

Easy to use: Dental amalgam is easy for dentists to work with and can be placed quickly and efficiently. This means that patients can often have their fillings completed in just one appointment.

Strength: Dental amalgam is strong and can withstand the forces of chewing and biting. This makes it an ideal choice for fillings in the back teeth, which endure the most pressure during chewing.

The Cons of Dental Amalgam

While there are advantages to using dental amalgam, there are also some disadvantages. Here are some of the cons of dental amalgam:

Aesthetics: One of the most significant drawbacks of dental amalgam is that it is not aesthetically pleasing. Amalgam fillings are silver in color and can be visible when a patient speaks or smiles.

Mercury Content: Dental amalgam contains small amounts of mercury, which has raised concerns about its safety. While the American Dental Association and other organizations consider dental amalgam safe, some patients and advocacy groups have called for its use to be restricted or banned.

Expansion and Contraction: Dental amalgam can expand and contract over time, which can cause cracks or fractures in the tooth. This can lead to further dental problems or the need for additional treatment.

Removal Difficulties: Removing dental amalgam can be difficult and may require more extensive drilling than other types of fillings. This can lead to additional damage to the tooth or other dental problems.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is dental amalgam safe?

The American Dental Association and other organizations consider dental amalgam safe. However, some patients and advocacy groups have raised concerns about its safety due to the small amounts of mercury it contains.

Can dental amalgam cause health problems?

While some patients and advocacy groups have raised concerns about the potential health risks of dental amalgam, there is no conclusive evidence that it causes health problems.

Can dental amalgam fillings be replaced?

Yes, dental amalgam fillings can be replaced with other types of fillings if a patient desires. However, removing dental amalgam can be difficult and may require more extensive drilling than other types of fillings.

What are some alternatives to dental amalgam?

Some alternatives to dental amalgam include composite resin fillings, ceramic fillings, and gold fillings. Composite resin fillings are tooth-colored and blend in with the surrounding teeth, making them a more aesthetically pleasing option. Ceramic fillings are made of porcelain and are also tooth-colored, but are more expensive than other types of fillings. Gold fillings are durable and long-lasting, but are also more expensive and not as aesthetically pleasing as composite resin or ceramic fillings.

Can pregnant women get dental amalgam fillings?

The American Dental Association and other organizations consider dental amalgam safe for pregnant women. However, some women may choose to avoid dental amalgam during pregnancy due to concerns about the small amounts of mercury it contains. If you are pregnant and have concerns about dental amalgam, talk to your dentist about alternative options.

Conclusion

Dental amalgam remains a popular choice for fillings despite the controversies surrounding its use. While dental amalgam has its pros and cons, it is important for patients to weigh the benefits and risks and make an informed decision about their dental treatment. If you have concerns about dental amalgam, talk to your dentist about alternative options such as composite resin, ceramic, or gold fillings. Ultimately, the most important thing is to maintain good oral hygiene and get regular dental checkups to prevent the need for fillings in the first place.

Dr. Michael Koumas DDS PC standing next to his logo in one of his operatories signifying he is a dentist in newburgh ny who has been serving the Hudson Valley for over 23 years

Dr. Michael Koumas, DDS PC

General and Cosmetic Dentist in Newburgh, NY.
4 Hudson Valley Professional Plaza
Newburgh, NY 12550
(845) 562-1108

 

With over 23 years of serving the Newburgh community, we’ve earned a reputation for providing top-quality dental care in a comfortable and welcoming environment, helping our patients achieve optimal oral health..

Whether you and your family need routine cleanings, fillings, or more complex dental procedures, my team and I are committed to providing the best possible dental care to you and yours.  After all, you’re not just our patients, you’re part of our dental family.

If you need any dental care in Newburgh, NY don’t hesitate to reach out to schedule an appointment today by calling our office at (845) 562-1108 and experience the difference that Dr. Michael Koumas, DDS PC can make in your oral health.

About Dr. Michael Koumas, DDS PC

 

Dr. Michael Koumas, DDS, PC, is a highly respected and experienced dentist based in Newburgh, NY, with over 23 years of dedicated service in the Hudson Valley area. His dental practice, located at 4 Hudson Valley Professional Plaza, Newburgh, NY 12550, is renowned for providing comprehensive dental care. Dr. Koumas and his skilled team offer a wide range of services, including preventive, restorative, cosmetic, periodontal, endodontics, oral surgery, prosthodontics, and emergency dental care.

The practice is known for its commitment to using state-of-the-art technology, ensuring accurate and efficient treatments. Digital x-rays and intraoral cameras are among the advanced tools used to provide the best care possible. Dr. Koumas’s approach to dental care is patient-centric, focusing on personalized treatment plans that address each patient’s unique needs and concerns.

Understanding that dental visits can be stressful for some, Dr. Koumas’s office has created a warm and welcoming environment to help patients feel at ease. The practice also emphasizes affordable dental care, offering flexible payment options and an in-office dental plan that includes diagnostic exams, routine x-rays, dental cleanings, and discounts on additional services.

The team at Dr. Koumas’s office comprises experienced dental professionals who are dedicated to providing personalized care. This commitment to excellence in dental health and patient comfort makes Dr. Koumas’s practice a trusted choice for dental care in the Newburgh, NY area.

 

 

Sources

 

American Dental Association (ADA) – A leading authority in the dental community, the ADA is renowned for advancing dental health, setting high professional standards, and providing valuable resources for dental professionals and the public.

World Health Organization (WHO) – As a global leader in public health, the WHO offers extensive information on a variety of health topics, including dental and oral health. They provide an abundance of data, guidelines, and research findings.

National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research – Part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, this institute is dedicated to research in oral, dental, and craniofacial health, contributing significantly to scientific understanding and advancements in these areas.

WebDMD – This platform offers comprehensive information on dental conditions, treatments, and general oral health, serving as an educational resource for both dental professionals and the general public.

 

 

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