O’Fallon Dentist Offers Mercury-Free Treatment Options

Written by Dr. Brace on May 10, 2022

Our O’Fallon dental team is committed to providing mercury-free treatment to our patients, no matter what the circumstance. In today’s blog, we are going to be reviewing some pertinent information about how mercury has been used in dentistry, as well as what alternatives are available…

Mercury In Dentistry

Mercury has a long tradition of being used in restorative dentistry, specifically in amalgam fillings. When a patient has a cavity removed from their tooth, the dentist will use a filling to restore the functionality of the tooth, and to essentially seal it up. Amalgam fillings are made from a combination of metals including tin, silver, copper, zinc, and mercury. The exact ratios vary from filling to filling.

Many patients wonder whether amalgam fillings are potentially problematic due to mercury poisoning. Research has not shown a conclusive link between amalgam fillings and mercury poisoning, and the American Dental Association emphasizes that a structurally sound amalgam filling is not a health threat. Even so, many people are interested in avoiding amalgam, because…

  • These fillings are heat-reactive; they expand and contract in response to temperature changes, which can put unnecessary strain on the surrounding tooth
  • Amalgam fillings aren’t particularly attractive; they appear dark and metallic against white teeth
  • While new amalgam fillings do not release mercury, there is a potential for fillings to start leaching mercury as they age and start to break down


If you would prefer to avoid amalgam all together, there are a number of other materials that you may find more appealing:

Ceramic: this type of fillings is made from hard and durable porcelain. Ceramic fillings are color-matched with the patient’s surrounding tooth shade to ensure a natural looking result.

Composite: these fillings are crafted from a mixture of plastic and resin. Once this mixture is cured with a special light, it hardens and bonds to the tooth structure. Like ceramic, composite can be shaded to match your exact tooth shade.

Gold: gold is a particularly durable option for restoring damaged teeth. Some patients prefer to avoid gold fillings as they do discolor the tooth slightly.

Whether you are seeking restorative treatment for the first time, or you are interested in replacing existing amalgam fillings, our O’Fallon mercury-free dentists are here to help. Give our team a call to schedule a consultation!