Copyright 2017 by 604 Dental

Amalgam Fillings / Silver Mercury Fillings

White Fillings / Composite Fillings

What is a Dental Cavity?

A dental cavity (also known dental caries or tooth decay) is the breakdown of the tooth that is caused by bacteria. When you eat, the bacteria in your mouth also eat, and their waste product are acids. The acids cause the tooth to lose calcium, and eventually a hole forms on the tooth. Dental cavities can spread deeper and deeper, and eventually the cavity hits the nerve inside the tooth. Once the cavity is into the nerve of the tooth, it will cause unbearable sensitivity to cold with lingering pain, and a throbbing toothache that can wake you up at night. If left untreated, the infection spreads beyond the tooth and into surrounding tissues causing swelling and pain. Complications of a tooth infection can become life threatening.

It is important to remember that dental cavities can spread from tooth to tooth, and spread from person to person. It is an infectious disease that is contagious. That is why parents are discouraged from chewing food for their children, because they may infect their children with cavity-causing bacteria.

What is a Dental Filling?

A dental filling (also know as a dental restoration) is the placement of a material into the tooth to repair a hole, crack, fracture or other damage to the tooth. If the tooth has dental decay, then all the decay must first be removed prior to the placement of the dental filling. The purpose of the dental filling is to build the tooth back up to its former glory to restore its original shape and structure for proper function.

Disadvantages of Silver Fillings / Mercury Fillings / Amalgam Fillings

At 604 Dental, we have elected not to place any new amalgam fillings because they contain mercury, and mercury is toxic. We made a conscientious decision to reduce mercury exposure to our patients and our team members.

Amalgam fillings are one of the oldest type of fillings. Placing an amalgam filling may require cutting undercuts into healthy tooth structure, and this can eventual cause the tooth to crack or fracture. Silver mercury fillings can turn black due to oxidation and can cause the tooth to also turn dark due to staining. Many people still have silver mercury fillings from many years ago. These patients may be unhappy with the silver mercury fillings because they contain mercury, they are poor in esthetics and they know the fillings can cause a tooth fracture.

At 604 Dental, we take a conservative approach. Silver mercury fillings should only be replaced if there is a problem. At 604 Dental, we are not fans of silver mercury filings, but we will not replace them for no reason. 

Advantages of Tooth-Coloured Fillings / White Fillings

There are many advantages to white filings. White fillings (also known as tooth-coloured fillings or composite fillings) do not contain mercury. At 604 Dental, we have taken the extra step to make sure that the composite filling materials do not contain BPA (BPA-Free Fillings). White fillings do not require cutting undercuts into healthy tooth structure, and it is more conservative in preparation. That means you get to keep more of your original tooth structure! White fillings do not turn black and they do not stain the tooth black. At 604 Dental, we shade match all of the white fillings to your natural tooth colour so that you can have a beatiful and confident smile.

604 Dental - Vancouver

5733 Main Street,

Vancouver, BC V5W 4C7