As featured in The Times Newspaper
Silver may be a precious metal, but there’s good reason why it’s no longer the first choice for dental fillings
Dating back to 7th century China, amalgam dental fillings became the worldwide restoration of choice in the 1800s and have remained so until recently. A compound made of varying ratios of mercury, silver, tin, copper and other trace metals, amalgam fillings have been historically popular for their efficiency, strength and durability. However, in recent years increasing concern about the negative health, aesthetic and environmental impact of metal fillings has led to a partial ban in the EU – they are no longer used for children and pregnant women, and are being phased out for the general population.
Instead, most dentists today prefer to fill teeth with composite – a tooth-coloured synthetic resin-based compound that is as effective and long-lasting as amalgam, even on hardworking back teeth, and avoid the alleged health risks associated with toxicity from mercury leaks. Modern composites not only blend with the tooth’s natural aesthetic but require less drilling of the affected teeth in advance of placement. This allows dentists to save more of their patients’ tooth structure and preserve their completely natural-looking smile.
In fact, in a modern twist on alchemy, dentists are now swapping out old amalgam fillings and replacing them with composite – a complicated procedure, but one that yields a better aesthetic result and, crucially, peace of mind for the patient. At our practice in London City, we firmly believe it’s about looking after our patients’ dental and medical health first.
If you would like to discuss any aspects of your dental fillings, please do get in touch with us on 020 7680 1800 or visit our contact page.