Dental Implants & Fillings: Why New Dental Materials Can Improve Your Overall Health
A lot is changing in the field of modern dentistry. One such change is the move towards healthier dental products, specifically when it comes to dental implants and fillings.
Many of the dentists at the forefront of modern dentistry are what you would call biocompatible dentists – dentists who treat the body as an interconnected system and thus see the link between dental health and the overall health of the body.
That said, even dentists who don’t officially consider themselves biocompatible dentists are adopting the products and services offered by these dentists because they see them as simply superior to what is often used in conventional dentistry.
Dental implants are commonly comprised of metal, but biocompatible dentists are avoiding these in favor of non-metal implants made of Zirconium. There are a number of reasons for this:
- Zirconium is chemically unreactive.
- It is healthier for the body.
- They look more like natural teeth (they’re naturally white). Metal implants can end up becoming visible through the gumline, leading to a “metal mouth” look.
- They are stronger than metal implants.
- The gums heal well around zirconium implants.
- Zirconium is actually stronger than metal!
Mercury fillings, also called amalgam fillings, are made up of around 50% mercury – a known toxic heavy metal.
Mercury fillings are still common in modern dentistry, but biocompatible dentists are avoiding mercury in favor of non-metal filling material such as resin. There are a vast number of reasons for this.
- Mercury is toxic to the human body. Dentists need to be very careful both when installing and removing mercury fillings because they can risk infecting the patient.
- Amalgam fillings are non-adhesive; they need to be forced or wedged in place. This can create microfractures in the tooth, which provide great areas for plaque and bacteria to fester, leading to an increased risk of tooth decay.
- Amalgam fillings expand and contract due to temperature changes, which can create further microfractures in the tooth.
- Amalgam fillings in no way look or feel like natural tooth material – they create a “metal-mouth” look.
On the other hand, resin fillings are seen as superior to amalgam fillings for the following reasons:
- Resin is perfectly safe for the human body.
- They are naturally adhesive, so they can be installed relatively easily and gently.
- They don’t expand or contract with temperature changes to the degree that amalgam fillings do, so the risk of microfracture creation – and thus an increased risk of tooth decay – over time is far lower.
- Resin fillings look and feel like natural tooth material, making it a far more aesthetic option.
The Bottom Line
While metal implants and fillings are still commonplace in modern dentistry, more and more dentists are seeing increased benefits of avoiding this material in favor of safer, more natural, and more aesthetically appealing products.
The body is like nature itself – a holistic, interconnected system. Dental problems (and their solutions) are not simply isolated to the mouth alone.
When you need dental implants or fillings, consider finding a dentist who offers healthier dental products.