Drs Bradbury & Amato, PC

Dentist - West Hartford

18 N. Main Street, Suite 2  West Hartford, CT 06107

(860) 561-3050
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Posts for tag: Fillings

By Drs Bradbury & Amato, PC
October 01, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Fillings  

Over the last century and a half millions of people have had a tooth cavity filled with “silver” amalgam. Perhaps you’re one of them. The use of this effective and durable filling has declined in recent years, but only because of the development of more attractive tooth-colored materials.

At the same time there’s another issue that’s been brewing in recent years about this otherwise dependable metal alloy: the inclusion of mercury in amalgam, about half of its starting mixture. Various studies have shown mercury exposure can have a cumulative toxic effect on humans. As a result, you may already be heeding warnings to limit certain seafood in your diet.

So, should you be equally concerned about amalgam fillings — even going so far as to have any existing ones removed?

Before taking such a drastic step, let’s look at the facts. To begin with, not all forms of mercury are equally toxic. The form causing the most concern is called methylmercury, a compound formed when mercury released in the environment combines with organic molecules. This is the form certain large fish like salmon and tuna ingest, which we then ingest when we eat them. Methylmercury can accumulate in the body’s tissues where at high levels it can damage various organ systems.

Dental amalgam, on the other hand, uses elemental mercury. Dentists take it in liquid form and mix it with a powder of other metals like silver, tin and copper to create a pliable paste. After it’s placed in a prepared cavity, the amalgam hardens into a compound in which the mercury interlaces with the other metals and becomes “trapped.”

Although over time the filling may emit trace amounts of mercury vapor, it’s well below harmful levels. You’re more likely to encounter “un-trapped” mercury in your diet than from a dental filling. And scores of studies over amalgam’s 150-year history have produced no demonstrable ill effects due to mercury.

Although it now competes with more attractive materials, amalgam still fills (no pun intended) a necessary role. Dentists frequently use amalgam in less visible back teeth, which encounter higher chewing pressures than front teeth. So, if you already have an amalgam filling or we recommend one to you, relax — you’re really in no danger of mercury poisoning.

If you would like more information on dental amalgam fillings, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

By Drs Bradbury & Amato, PC
January 13, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Fillings  

Cavities are a common yet painful dental problem. If caught in its early stages, the typical resolution for a cavity is a dental filling. Discover how dentists at Drs Bradbury & Amato, PC in West Hartford can use fillings to restore your teeth to their normal function, Fillingsincluding eating, drinking, talking and smiling.

What Are Fillings?
A filling is a dental material that is used to fill in a tooth that has been compromised by a cavity (hole in a tooth). Filling a cavity is similar to the process of using caulk to fill in a hole around a window that is allowing cold air in. Materials that dentists use for fillings include:

  • composite resin (tooth-colored)
  • porcelain
  • amalgam
  • gold

Restoring Your Teeth
Cavities can really wreak havoc on your teeth if they aren’t treated promptly. They can cause pain that makes it impossible to eat or even talk properly. If a cavity progresses, it can turn into a serious tooth infection that requires root canal therapy. Fillings shore up and restore teeth that have been compromised by cavities. First, your West Hartford dentist clears the tooth of any decay, then the filling material is added and sealed into place using a curing light. Composite (tooth-colored) dental fillings can also be used to modify the shape of your front teeth so that you'll be more comfortable smiling.

After getting a filling, it’s important to avoid drinking hot or very cold beverages (the same for food). You should also avoid eating on that side of your mouth after the appointment. While fillings are effective at restoring your teeth, they are only going to last if you prioritize brushing, flossing and keeping them free of bacteria-filled plaque. Avoid future problems with cavities by minimizing your intake of sugary drinks and foods, while also brushing regularly.

Schedule an Appointment Today
Fillings are a relatively inexpensive yet very effective way to repair your teeth and restore their full function. Call Drs Bradbury & Amato at (860) 561-3050 today to schedule an appointment at their West Hartford dentist office.