Dr. Ashley Price seeks to reconcile concerns about safety and patient sensitivity with the types of dental materials she chooses to use. She and our staff understand that many people have questions about mercury and biocompatibility, and she will work with you to find dental solutions that fit your needs.
We know much more than we used to about how our oral health affects our well-being, and with new dental materials being introduced, it is more important than ever to understand the ways our bodies may react over time. If you have results from Clifford Material Reactivity Testing, bring your results with you to your first visit. We will review them along with your complete medical history to help us in determining the best treatment plan for your situation.
A Holistic Approach to Fillings
Silver amalgam fillings have been around since the 1840s, and they’ve saved countless teeth. But they are made of about 50 percent mercury. Although the American Dental Association says they are safe, many patients opt for white composite fillings for a number of reasons. White amalgam fillings are bonded directly to the tooth structure. They seal adjacent areas and actually strengthen the teeth they fill, where silver amalgam fillings have a tendency to weaken the tooth structure.
In addition, they look and feel more like natural tooth material, providing a more aesthetic appearance. And they cause less sensitivity than silver amalgam fillings. And finally, white composite fillings save more of the natural tooth than silver amalgam fillings do, requiring less drilling in the preparation stage.The photos above show teeth filled with silver amalgam before and after restoration with white composite fillings.
Sanitary Removal of Silver Amalgam Fillings
Many patients are also concerned about the possible toxicity of silver amalgam fillings, and they prefer to have them replaced by a dentist who can provide sanitary removal. Dr. Price is skilled in this process, in which she completely isolates the filled tooth with a rubber dam. She then uses high-speed suction to ensure that none of the debris is breathed in or present in the mouth or on the skin.
What is a Clifford Test?
Clifford Material Reactivity Testing is a laboratory screening protocol that helps patients discover if they have specific chemical sensitivities. This can be immensely valuable because the tests measure each individual’s responses to both biomaterials and the byproducts they produce as the materials break down and corrode over time. The photo above shows a silver amalgam filling that can release small amounts of mercury each time you chew. You will notice that it is also corroded, thereby releasing a different byproduct.
Dr. Price will be happy to discuss your concerns and wishes regarding any of these topics. You can schedule a complete exam by calling our office for an exam or a brief complimentary consultation.