No Amalgam Here: Why Dr. Walley Takes A Safer Approach To Fillings

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA- The repercussions of neglecting to treat a cavity are dreadful- but the consequences of using one outdated restorative solution aren’t much better.

Amalgam fillings, which are comprised of a blend of metals like silver, copper and mercury, have been administered by dentists for more than 150 years. Millions of people across the globe have them, but these fillings are far from being the ideal form of treatment.

Treatment for the average cavity is relatively simple. A dentist will remove the decayed portion of the tooth and use a filling material to “fill” the section that was removed. Fillings restore the aesthetics and function of the tooth, as well as shield its more delicate inner layers. When the amalgam variety is used, sensitivity to hot and cold substances increases, and the metal component can shrink and expand according to temperature. This phenomenon can trigger serious discomfort, as well as filling leakage, breakage and one giant dental debacle.

The American Dental Association and the Federal Drug Administration have long insisted that amalgam fillings are safe for use. However, the FDA admitted in 2008 that such fillings emit mercury vapor while chewing and during the placement and removal of the amalgam. The FDA also cautions pregnant women to avoid mercury exposure, stating such fillings could have neurotoxic effects on a fetus’s nervous system.

“Fillings are intended to resolve the issue of decay, not prompt issues of their own,” says San Francisco dentist Dr. Robert Walley. “That’s why I administer composite fillings to my patients.”  

At Robert M. Walley, DDS, we fill teeth with a tooth colored composite material free of mercury and harsh metals that contract or enlarge with temperature changes. This material is engineered with synthetic resins and is proven safe for use. Once it’s placed, patients often forget the filling is present! Other benefits of composite material include:

  • Improved aesthetics. Composite fillings are nearly indistinguishable from real tooth structure.
  • Versatile use. Because of its coloring and durability, composite materials are often used to restore broken, worn and chipped teeth.
  • Greater support. Composite fillings provide greater support, since the material chemically bonds to the tooth.
  • Less removal of tooth structure. In many cases, preparing the tooth for composite fillings require a smaller portion of the tooth to be removed than with amalgam fillings.

You can be assured that Dr. Walley and our staff use only the best products and materials available when administering treatment. Our top priority is to provide you with a truly healthy and vibrant smile. We understand this goal can’t be achieved with outdated practices that fail to deliver quality results.

If you’d like to learn more about cavity treatment options and our restoration methods, don’t hesitate to give us a call. Complimentary consultations are available.