Beginning in the 1840s, dentists began mixing silver, a little tin, and quicksilver, or mercury, into a paste to fill dental cavities. This mix is called silver amalgam, and it has saved millions of teeth. However, advances in bonding technology in the 1980s made it possible to bond a mercury-free white composite filling material directly to a tooth. The resulting filling not only looks like part of the natural tooth, it also actually strengthens the structure of the tooth it fills.
The American Dental Association maintains that silver-amalgam fillings are completely safe. Most dental schools still primarily teach their students how to use them. However, many patients worry about using mercury in their own and their children’s mouths. Dr. Price chose to become a mercury-free dentist to help these patients. She offers white composite fillings and has created an entirely mercury-free practice. She also performs sanitary removal of silver amalgam fillings.
The procedure to remove silver amalgam fillings releases mercury into the air and mouth. To make sure that none of this debris is breathed in or gets on her patient’s skin, Dr. Price first isolates the tooth with a rubber dam. She then utilizes high-speed suction equipment to capture the debris as she removes it from the tooth.
Some patients ask if Dr. Price is a holistic dentist. The answer is that she is holistic only in this one way: She does not use mercury. She is not able to accommodate other holistic-related requests such as following the results of Cliffords tests.
Compared to silver amalgam fillings, preparation for white composite fillings does not require as much removal of the natural tooth structure. Amalgam needs to have a minimum thickness of two millimeters or it will fracture. However, composite doesn’t have that requirement. Also, with amalgam, all weakened and undermined tooth structure needs to be removed. But composite will bond to any remaining tooth structure and strengthen it.
Dr. Price has pursued the advanced post-graduate training required to place white composite fillings. The bonding procedures and the technology used in providing composite fillings are a precise science. Significant tooth sensitivity can result if the procedures are not followed properly.
You may schedule an appointment for a full examination or a brief complimentary consultation by calling our office.