Mercury-Free Dentistry in North Andover, MA
If we asked you to guess how long cavities have been repaired with dental fillings, what would you say? Two hundred years? More? The correct answer is closer to 9,500 years!
Archaeologists discovered pre-historic molars in Pakistan that date back that long. In a cave near Trieste, Italy, researchers found preserved molars that had fillings made of beeswax. These were estimated to be more than 6,500 years old. At that point in human history, men and women used their teeth for more than eating. Teeth were tools often used to soften leather and other pelts. Those who discovered these filled molars suspect that the man they belonged to may have injured his teeth while performing such a task.
Metal fillings first came into use during the 19th century. A variety of metals including silver, tin and gold were softened and pressed into the tooth. During the later part of this same century, dental amalgams gained popularity. These fillings consisted of a mixture of the same metals and mercury.
Not much time passed before the use of mercury in dental fillings became controversial. Mercury is a heavy metal and there is evidence to show a link between mercury in the body and the development of certain kinds of cancer as well as multiple sclerosis.
For years, dentists used metal and mercury in fillings and crowns. At the time, these materials were the safest, most durable to repair and restore your teeth. Unfortunately, metal fillings have been known to break and crack over time, leaking dangerous mercury into the sensitive tissue in your mouth. Additionally, mercury can vaporize and be inhaled into the body, as well.
Fortunately, Willows Dental can replace this older dentistry with metal and mercury-free fillings and porcelain restorations.
Mercury-Free Tooth Restorations in North Andover
For a filling, your mercury free dentist in North Andover uses composite resin material. Called a tooth-colored filling, these present no health risk and are, in fact, stronger and better for your teeth. Amalgam fillings merely rest within the prepared portion of a tooth and are held in place by pressure. A mercury-free filling, on the other hand, actually bonds with your tooth structure. Moreover, with a tooth-colored filling, we do not have to remove as much tooth structure. This conservative approach results in a tooth that is stronger and will likely have greater longevity than a tooth with a metal filling.
Likewise, an all porcelain tooth restoration eliminates the health threat of a crown made of porcelain fused to metal. Not only is porcelain safe and long lasting, but also it mimics the appearance of your natural teeth so well the restorations are indistinguishable in your mouth.
With our porcelain restorations, we use CEREC, a CAD/CAM design technology, to create very detailed, highly accurate crowns and fillings for your teeth. We can mill these in our practice and place them in your mouth in a single appointment. The CEREC system is made up of a digital camera, CAD/CAM software and a milling unit that all sit in our office. The camera captures a detailed image of your tooth, the software designs the crown, inlay or onlay and the milling unit fabricates the restoration from a single block of porcelain. The entire procedure is completed in just a couple of hours—a second appointment is not necessary.
If you have older metal fillings in your mouth, our practice strongly recommends you schedule an appointment to replace the metal with CEREC-designed porcelain metal-free tooth restorations in North Andover.