A Shocking Experience
Galvanic shock, a term used in dentistry for over 100 years, refers to an electric charge in your mouth between two fillings. This uncomfortable charge occurs when two metal amalgam fillings of dissimilar metal composition come together or are placed too close together. When this happens, they complete an electrochemical circuit through the soft tissue and nerves inside of your tooth. Afflicted teeth can feel painful or sensitive.
Occurrences of galvanic shock are extremely rare. Dentists train extensively in the placement of dental fillings in order to prevent this uncomfortable condition. Once upon a time, your best bet was to stick with the same dentist to ensure similar composition in every amalgam filling you received. Thanks to new technologies, dentists can now check the composition of older fillings in order to create new fillings that will not cause problems.
Not only that, but the invention of white composite fillings has all but eliminated the risk of galvanic shock as well. These white fillings effectively fill cavities without completing electrochemical circuits. Thanks to these revolutionary fillings, dentists can easily create new fillings for your mouth without the complications caused by metal amalgam.
Other Benefits of White Fillings
Although galvanic shock is a rare occurrence, you might still consider the other benefits of white fillings. When these tooth colored fillings first made their way into dentistry, they served as more of a temporary cosmetic fix than a long-lasting restoration. Composite developed a reputation for early failure. Fortunately, improvements in dental technology have drastically improved the durability of white fillings. Today, they are comparable to metal amalgam fillings, and offer more benefits than their metal counterparts.
One of the best known benefits of white fillings is their invisibility. Composite material matches the color of your tooth so that the restoration looks natural. You no longer need to choose between the embarrassment of silver colored fillings and tooth pain. Unlike metal, white fillings also form a bond with your tooth that allows them to fill smaller cavities without the need to enlarge the cavity enough to accommodate the filling. In this way, white fillings preserve more of your tooth structure.
Choosing white fillings can also help protect your health and the environment. Mercury serves as the binding agent to hold the metals together in amalgam restorations. Although the ADA reports that amalgam contains safe mercury levels, studies have found that people with metal fillings often show higher levels of mercury in their body. Not only could amalgam endanger your health, but the creation and disposal of these fillings harms the environment.
At our office, we practice holistic dentistry in order to protect your whole health. We understand the health risks of metal fillings, and want you to know the facts about both types of fillings in order to make an educated choice that best suits your needs. If you need a cavity filled and would like to learn more about the benefits of white fillings over amalgam, please call 918-528-3330 to meet with a Tulsa dentist today.