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Amalgam Free Dentistry

SANJEEVANI DENTAL CLINIC does not use amalgam as a filling material and believes removal can be beneficial for your health.

Q: What is Amalgam?
Amalgam is the name given to compounds where Mercury is mixed with another metal. In dentistry, this commonly used filling material is a combination of mercury with silver and tin, together with small amounts of zinc and copper. Of this mixture approximately 50% is Mercury.

Q: Why is there a problem?
Mercury vapour is released from amalgam and this is not disputed by any authority. Several studies have shown that the amount of Mercury released can be in the range of 20mcg – 150mcg/m3, remaining high for 90 minutes after stimulation. Examples of ‘stimulation’ are the ingesting hot drinks, chewing and tooth brushing. To get the amount of this release in perspective, latex paints which contained mercury have been taken off the market after being shown to release only 2 to 3 mcg/m3.

Q. What do the Authorities say about harmful effects?
Australias’ National Health and Medical Research Council [ NHMRC] in its brochure on amalgam fillings implies health concerns are alarmist but then goes on to recommend that amalgam placement or removal be avoided during pregnancy, when breast feeding, in children and those with kidney disease. Can this list really be regarded as exhaustive? Is the NHMRC saying everybody not falling into these groups will tolerate amalgam without harm?

The World Health Organisation [ WHO ] stated in 1991 and confirms in its policy paper of August 2005, that mercury contained in dental amalgams is the greatest source of mercury vapour in non industrialised settings, exposing the concerned population to mercury levels significantly exceeding those set for food and air. Of the mercury vapour released by amalgam fillings a small amount is dissolved in saliva and swallowed but the majority is inhaled. 80% of this inhaled vapour is absorbed by the lungs going straight into the oxygenated blood stream. The WHO report adds that, It may cause harmful effects to the nervous ,digestive, respiratory, immune systems and to the kidneys… Given that at rest the largest proportion of oxygenated blood is supplying the brain, it should not be a surprise that the possible ‘adverse health effects’ mentioned by WHO lead with tremors, impaired vision and hearing, paralysis, insomnia, and emotional instability…

Other problems
Cosmetics - The cosmetics of amalgam are a problem. It has a grey appearance and in addition stains tooth structure.

Cracking teeth - The physical attribute of expansion as amalgam solidifies leads to the danger of the cracking and fracturing of your teeth when an amalgam filling is placed. After the initial expansion, amalgam corrodes continuing the expansion and further endangering your teeth to cracking and staining.

Restoration Materials
Composite Resin The standard replacement material for amalgam is composite resin, which can be bonded to enamel, matched to your tooth colour and releases no mercury. While these properties make it, in our opinion, a superior material to amalgam, it does have some drawbacks. Composite consists of a plastic matrix with various fillers added to improve its physical characteristics. None the less, like amalgam, it has a wear rate greater than enamel. As well as wearing away faster than your teeth , it shrinks and expands at a different rate when you eat or drink food hotter or colder than the ambient temperature of the mouth, putting strains on the bond linking tooth to filling, These strains can eventually lead to breakdown of the bond resulting in staining, sensitivity and tooth decay. The larger the filling the more likely debonding will occur over time. Recent advances in porcelain technology have overcome these long term problems, and at SANJEEVANI DENTAL CLINIC these alternatives are available.

Glass Ionomer
This is a material which releases fluoride, helping protect the adjacent tooth from decay. It also adheres to tooth structure and has a similar coefficient of expansion and contraction to your tooth. While it is tooth coloured, it does not mimic the translucency of enamel like composite. It also is slightly soluble in saliva.

Ceramic Restorations
In most cases, there is sufficient tooth left to hold in a filling, however, large cavities and broken teeth often require that the filling hold the tooth together. As standard white filling materials have limitations [see COMPOSITE RESIN], a harder and more durable material is required. Often, this will involve a full coverage crown, however, we can often provide partial coverage using porcelain. These fillings are more complicated and are constructed in a laboratory using computer milling machines, or, pressed molten porcelain.

This non felspathic porcelain has strength similar to metal without the brittleness associated with conventional porcelain. It is now available for use as an alternative to metal to create a coping to which the more cosmetic porcelains can be added to create a life like tooth, This material requires a laboratory process and is therefore a two visit procedure. Zirconia can also be used to build the framework for bridges instead of metal.[see CHOICES FOR REPLACING YOUR MISSING TOOTH]. The advent of Zirconia has been a major advance in the provision of complex metal free restorations.

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Office Hours: Morning: 10:30 am to 3:00 pm Evening: 5:30 pm to 9:00 pm Wednesday Closed