Some Composite Dental Fillings in Chicago are made from mercury alloys and other metals, something of which has been used for more than 150 years in the treatment of cavities. This is mainly because of its strength and its life span. Moreover, these fillings are sufficiently flexible to adapt to the size and shape of the cavities but harden quickly enough to be practical. Although fillings can still be considered as a material of choice for some molar fillings, their use has decreased in recent years because they do not have the same color as the teeth and do not adhere to their surface.
filling materials of the same color as the teeth are more and more
popular: they allow a more aesthetic result and the dentist has to
remove less dental tissue. In addition, they do not contain mercury.
Many dental schools across the world have therefore reduced or
eliminated the use of metallic fillings in favor of new materials.
However, metallic fillings are still used for molars.
How are dental amalgams prepared? Mercury is a heavy metal naturally present in the environment and comes in different chemical forms. At room temperature, the purest form, mercury is a liquid and evaporates slowly.
A dental filling is obtained by mixing liquid mercury with a mixture of other metals, mainly silver, but also tin, copper and small amounts of zinc. The filling is pressed firmly inside the treated cavity so that the sealing is as solid as possible. During this process, the surplus mercury rises to the surface and the dentist removes it. Once set, the filling releases tiny amounts of mercury vapor, much less than liquid mercury. Over time, fillings tend to deteriorate too. This very slow process can contribute to mercury exposure, but the magnitude of this contribution is difficult to determine with precision.
In particular, the general public is exposed to mercury through the consumption of contaminated fish, the use of cosmetics, medicines or medical devices containing mercury – including Dental Fillings in Chicago – or in certain workplaces where the use of mercury is necessary. Patients are mainly exposed to mercury from dental fillings when laying or removing fillings. Visit Windy City Family Dental to learn more.