Since silver fillings contain mercury, are they safe? I see that Dr. Theriot provides white fillings, so does that make him a mercury-free dentist?
Brian, the silver fillings you mentioned actually contain more mercury than silver. Mercury is the single largest ingredient in these fillings. They are called amalgam fillings because they are a mixture, or amalgam, of mercury and metal.
There has been a lot of research regarding the safety of mercury in amalgam fillings. Many dentists agree that they pose no danger to patients, though some studies have shown that chewing on amalgam fillings can release mercury vapor in small amounts.
Dr. Theriot prefers to use mercury-free fillings. These white fillings, called composites, are more natural looking and can be gentler on your teeth. They will not conduct cold and hot like metal will. Also, white composite fillings bond directly to the teeth, which can strengthen the overall tooth structure more than amalgam.
Most of our patients just want their teeth to look natural, even in the back of their mouths. Amalgam fillings initially appar silver in color and eventually turn black, while composite fillings remain looking more like your natural tooth color.
Yes, Dr. Theriot is a mercury-free dentist.
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