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Amalgam

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Atlantic Dental is an “Amalgam-free” practice. There is currently no scientific consensus on the direct health effect of amalgam in dental but we believe that the environmental impact of the mercury in amalgam is significant and should be reduced.  A recent study conducted on behalf of the European Commission concluded that the ‘phasing out’ of dental amalgam is to be recommended.    The EU consumption of dental amalgam is estimated to be between 55 and 95 tonnes of mercury. Mercury as an chemical element is extremely toxic and can lead to acute or chronic poisoning.  Mercury is part of dental amalgam and is normally released in very small amounts. However older fillings especially if fractured will release a higher amount of mercury.  Another source of mercury is the process of mixing the amalgam in the dental surgery which can lead to increased exposure especially of the dental team. The removal of dental amalgam fillings should carried out with copious water  irrigation as overheating can increase  mercury exposure.

The EU study on Amalgam recommends the promotion of mercury free filling materials and the ban of mercury in dentistry. Such Materials are widely used in Scandinavia and Germany as Amalgam is either completely or partially banned in these countries.

 

 Amalgam Alternatives:

Composite fillings: tooth coloured filling Material which consists of a organic resin matrix (BisGMA) and an inorganic filler (Glas) connected with each other by a coupling agent (silane). The material is bonded with the enamel and / or dentine of the tooth and light cured . The longevity of composite fillings is very technique sensitive which means that failure will result in an earlier loss of the filling. However modern materials and adequate training has improved the success rate and longevity of composite fillings.

 

Composite Inlay: basically composite fillings done in the dental laboratory. Why? One of the disadvantages of composite is the shrinkage while cured with light. Manufactured in the laboratory the inlay can be bonded into the tooth minimising  the shrinkage. Composite Inlays are a viable Alternative to:

 

 


Ceramic Inlays: made from Ceramic (Porcelain) by a dental technician these filling materials are very durable and
have the advantage of being the most ‘bio-compatible’ material. Ceramic however is usually harder than the natural tooth and therefore not suitable in all situations: for example in Patients who grind their teeth heavily. In such cases a gold inlay might be considered:

 

 

Goldinlays:   probably the oldest material used to repair teeth. It has a similar hardness compared with enamel and can be used in cases where Ceramic or Composite is not suitable.

 

 

 

 

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