How we restore teeth at Subiaco Dental

The amalgam debate

A frequent question I encounter is whether dental amalgam (grey fillings) are safe? Current scientific research has concluded there is no medical reason to remove existing functional amalgam fillings as there is no proven link to any medical issues. However if you search the web, there is a plethora of anaectodal evidence that says otherwise. Invented in the 1830’s, amalgam is still used today but diminishing in popularity due to the controversy about toxicity of its 50% mercury component.

My personal viewpoint is there are many other materials available in modern dentistry that are superior to amalgam. It has been more than a decade since I used amalgam in my Practice.

The decision to update a filling is based on its stability. If there is an existing amalgam that is in good condition, I see no reason to change it. However if the amalgam is old, corroded and deteriorated, it is prudent to update the filling before it compromises the structure of the tooth.

Amalgam fillings, like all repairs on teeth, do not last forever. Using the tooth to chew, subjecting it to acids, heat, cold, all the time immersed in water – it corrodes and fatigues over time, typically 10 years.

If we do need to change an amalgam filling, why not use a better material, one that was developed to be safe and more natural?

I consider dental ceramics as the best and most natural way to restore teeth. They are tooth-coloured, inert (consider your ceramic cup), strong, long-lasting, and have a natural look and feel.

As the best option, I have used CEREC ceramic fillings to restore my own teeth. Yes, even the dentist was once a boy with a sweet tooth. Unfortunately I cannot undo the damage, but by using dental ceramics, I am able to restore the tooth for the long-term.